Miner blames company for accident, amputation

By Carol Ostrow | Mar 26, 2015


WHEELING — An Ohio County man has sued a coal mining company and three workers, alleging negligence in a 2013 accident that left him a partial amputee.

Richard E. Hunt filed a lawsuit Feb. 26 in Ohio Circuit Court against Tunnel Ridge, Maynard St. John, Erick Anderson and Lyle Fultz.

According to the complaint, on May 29, 2013, Hunt was working for Tunnel Ridge as a continuous miner operator side bolter at its coal mine facility in Triadelphia, when he was pinned between machine parts, suffering a crushed right arm that required amputation above the elbow.

Hunt contends the defendant intentionally exposed him to hazardous working conditions by disregarding safety regulations, failing to adequately train personnel and disregarding proper industry standards and policies. The suit states the three individual defendants were working while under the influence of alcohol and their employer had knowledge of their intoxication. Tunnel Ridge was cited by the Mine Safety and Health Administration for failure to comply with procedure, according to the suit.

The plaintiff charges reckless disregard and willful labor code violation.

Hunt seeks: compensatory and punitive damages for severe and permanent disability; medical expenses; lost wages and benefits; physical and mental pain; loss of capacity to enjoy life and normal activities; attorney fees; and costs.

He is represented by attorneys Robert Fitzsimmons and Clayton Fitzsimmons of Fitzsimmons Law Firm in Wheeling. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Martin J. Gaughan.

Ohio Circuit Court case number: 15-C-58-(MJG)

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