CHARLESTON – An inmate at the Huntington Work Release Center has sued the state Division of Highways after a tree-cutting incident that left him with a broken leg.

Ricky Lee Maynard says he worked on prison labor crews performing various brush cutting and other duties for the state Department of Transportation, Division of Highways.

On Sept. 24, 2004, Maynard says he was working with a crew that was removing a large oak tree from a residence in Cabell County when a portion of the tree landed on his leg, causing him to be seriously injured.

In the suit, filed by attorney Larry O. Ford, Maynard blames the accident on the negligence of the defendant and its employees because they "failed to properly supervise the removal of the tree, failed to provide proper equipment for the removal of the tree, failed to properly train the plaintiff and other prisoners of the way in which a tree should be removed and the defendant was in other ways negligent."

Maynard says he suffered various injuries, including a compound complex fracture of the left ankle -- which required open surgery to set bones and the placement of screws and/or plates to facilitate the healing -- and otherwise was greatly injured and damaged.

He seeks a judgment in an amount to compensate him for the injuries and damages, plus all interest allowed by low and court costs.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Duke Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 05-C-2740

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