Judge grants motion for default judgment in logging death case

By Kyla Asbury | May 8, 2015

RIPLEY – A Jackson County judge has granted a motion for default judgment in favor of the plaintiff in a lawsuit against a logging company for a man's death.

The order was filed last month in Jackson Circuit Court by Circuit Judge Thomas C. Evans III.

In support of the plaintiff's motion, the plaintiff asserted that Chase Logging was properly served with the complaint on Dec. 17, but has neither filed an answer, not otherwise appeared in the case to date.

"After reviewing the file of this matter, the court finds that ... Chase was served with a copy of the summons, complaint and plaintiff's first set of interrogatories and requests for production of documents, by personal service; that ... Chase has failed and/or refused to answer, appear or otherwise defend plaintiff's complaint; and that ... Chase's time to answer, appear or otherwise defend plaintiff's complaint expired on or about January 6, 2015," the order states.

Kimberly Dawn Westfall, individually and as administratrix of the estate of Jimmie Allen Westfall, filed her lawsuit in Jackson Circuit Court against David Roy Chase, doing business as Chase Logging, and Eldon Jones, citing negligence.

Westfall claimed on Feb. 21, 2013, Jimmie Allen Westfall was doing hauling work for Best Logging on defendant Chase's job site on property owned by Jones on Rock Castle Road in Rock Castle.

Chase and Best Logging instructed Westfall to work alone, using a chainsaw to cut down 70- to 81-foot trees that were 22 to 25 inches in diameter, without proper safety equipment. The lawsuit states one of these trees fell on Westfall, causing fatal injuries. The defendants are accused of failing to provide Westfall with a safe place to work or proper training for the area in which he was instructed to work, according to the suit.

Kimberly Westfall was seeking compensatory and punitive damages with interest. She was represented by Brent K. Kesner of Kesner & Kesner; and Eric J. Holmes and Kevin C. Harris of Law Offices of Harris & Holmes.

Jones was represented by Dwayne E. Cyrus and Maigreade B. Burrus of Shuman, McCusky & Slicer PLLC.

Jackson Circuit Court case number: 14-C-116

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