CLARKSBURG – A trial date has been set in a lawsuit against Valiant Products alleging injuries were sustained during the course of employment.

The trial date has been set for April 18, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. and a pre-trial conference/final settlement conference is scheduled for April 6, 2017, at 10 a.m., according to the Jan. 13 scheduling order filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

The final lists of witnesses and exhibits must be completed by March 24, 2016, and jury instructions and verdict forms must be completed by March 31, 2017.

A joint pre-trail order must be finished by March 24, 2017, and a mediation report must be filed within 10 days of completion of mediation.

Valiant Manufacturing Company; Direct Transport Services Inc., which is doing business as D.T.S. and D.T.S. Commerce City Co.; Scott MacNeill; John Doe #1; and John Doe #2 were also named as defendants in the suit.

Eric A. Gaines was employed in the maintenance department of a local hotel, the Sleep Inn, in Bridgeport and on Sept. 25, 2013, the hotel purchased new furniture from Valiant, according to a complaint originally filed in Harrison Circuit Court and removed to federal court.

Gaines claims DTS and/or MacNeill were hired to transport the furniture to the hotel and Gaines was instructed to help two other men hired by the Sleep Inn to unload the furniture.

While unloading the furniture, a stack of headboards fell over onto Gaines and he sustained severe injuries.

Gaines claims the defendants knew or should have known that the furniture was not loaded, stacked and/or delivered in a reasonable and safe manner and that the furniture could fall over during the unloading process.

Is was reasonably foreseeable to the defendants that individuals such as Gaines would be called upon to unload the furniture once it arrived at the hotel and the defendants had a duty to exercise reasonable care in performing the work of loading and stacking the furniture onto the trailer in a safe manner so as to not cause the likelihood of the furniture falling over on those charged with its unloading, according to the suit.

Gaines claims the defendants had a duty to exercise reasonable care in transporting and delivering the load of furniture in a safe manner as to not cause the likelihood of the furniture falling over on those charged with its unloading.

Upon information and belief, the defendants breached their duties through its conduct, including delivering the furniture in a manner so that once the straps were removed from the furniture stack so that it could be unloaded, the stack of furniture was unstable and likely to fall over, according to the suit.

Gaines claims the stack of furniture fell over onto him during the unloading process and caused him severe and permanent injuries.

Gaines is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Douglas R. Miley of the Miley Legal Group.

The case is assigned to District Judge Irene M. Keeley.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 1:15-cv-00187

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