Boy's hand crushed in school gate, suit claims

By Annie Cosby | Jan 19, 2015

CHARLESTON – A Logan County man is suing over claims his son's hand was crushed in a sliding gate at a high school.

David Roberts, individually and as parent of and natural guardian of Ryan Roberts, a minor, filed a lawsuit Nov. 10 in Kanawha Circuit Court against the Logan County Board of Education, the County Commission of Logan County, and The Chamberlain Group Inc., citing negligence.

According to the complaint, Ryan Roberts was at Logan High School, leaving a youth baseball game July 17, when an unidentified individual punched the access code into the LiftMaster Industrial Slide Gate Operator, causing the gate to slide open and crush Roberts' right hand in a partial amputation.

The Logan County Board of Education and the County Commission of Logan County are accused of negligence in negligently purchasing and installing the gate and failing to post adequate warnings. The Chamberlain Group, which designs and distributes the the slide gate operator, is accused of negligence and strict liability for failing to have standard safety equipment.

David Roberts seeks compensatory and punitive damages, interest and costs. He is represented by attorney Gregory B. Chiartas of Freeman & Chiartas in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-2003

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