CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County man has filed a lawsuit against a man he says caused a traffic accident, another man who may have provided alcohol to him and the merchant who sold the alcohol to the pair.

Ronald Gene Miles filed the lawsuit Jan. 18 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The case stems from a June 25, 2005, accident on U.S. 60 in Jefferson. Miles claims Joseph Lee Panucci of Dunbar was intoxicated and was operating his vehicle in a negligent, willful, wanton and illegal manner when he failed to yield the right of way and pulled onto the highway, hitting Miles' motorcycle.

As a result of the accident, Miles says he suffered permanent personal injuries, pain and suffering, anxiety, loss of the ability to enjoy life, lost wages, substantial medical expenses, annoyance and other damages. And he says he will continue to suffer those damages in the future.

Also in the suit, filed by attorneys D. Scott Tyree and Susan L. Sheperd, Miles alleges Michael Ray Hickman of Dunbar aided and abetted Panucci by willfully, negligently and wrongfully providing him liquor, beer and/or wine, causing him to become intoxicated.

In addition, Miles claims an unnamed merchant is liable because it sold the alcohol to Panucci and/or Hickman.

At the time the alcohol was sold to Panucci, the suit claims he "was so intoxicated that a reasonable purveyor of alcohol would not have sold the intoxicating beverage to the defendant."

Also, Miles says this unnamed merchant is responsible because it hired, employed, retained, trained and managed employees who sold the alcohol.

He also sues for gross negligence.

Miles seeks joint and several compensatory damages and punitive damages plus pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees and court costs.

Miles requests a jury trial.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charlie King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 06-C-82

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