CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County couple is suing the West Virginia Department of Transportation-Division of Highways after they claim it was responsible for injuries suffered on its construction site on W.Va. 10.
Bizzack Construction LLC was also named as a defendant in the suit.
Prior to 2013, Bizzack was awarded a contract by the DOT to construct a new section of W.Va. 10 in Logan County, according to a complaint filed Jan. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
Terry H. Karr and Claudette Karr claim after commencement of the project, Bizzack was required to excavate dirt and rock from a very confined and narrow hillside section of the existing part of W.Va. 10 near Lyburn in order to lower the elevation of the slow of the hillside.
as the work on this portion of the project progressed, the hillside because increasingly unstable and on July 22, 2013, the defendants determined that the unstable hillside made it unsafe for traffic to move through the work zone was traffic was then required to be detoured for 90 days, according to the suit.
The Karrs claim on Sept. 27, 2013, Terry Karr was working as an employee of Bizzack and was assigned to operate a Caterpillar 980C front loader to excavate earth and rock adjacent to W.Va. 10.
Terry Karr and other co-workers had complained on this day and on prior occasions, that the front loader could not be safely operated due to ongoing mechanical issues and the safety complaints were generally disregarded by Bizzack, according to the suit.
The Karrs claim that as a result of Terry Karr's employer directing him to excavate earth and rock using the front loader, it malfunctioned, causing a loss of engine power and breaks, which caused Terry Karr to travel backward, dropping over a steel hillside and causing him severe physical injuries.
Bizzack allowed the unsafe working condition to exist and had actual knowledge that it existed, according to the suit.
The Karrs claim the DOT exercised control over the project and had a duty to provide Terry Karr and other workers a reasonably safe place to work.
As a result of the defendants' conduct, Terry Karr's wife, Claudette Karr, was deprived of the society, companionship and services of her husband, according to the suit.
The Karrs are seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest.
They are being represented by Robert B. Warner and Lynnette Simon Marshall of Warner Law Offices PLLC; and Roger D. Forman of Roger D. Forman Law Office.
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 15-C-197