CHARLESTON - The wife of a man who was killed while working on a well has filed a lawsuit against his employer.

Eileen Matics, the Administratrix of the Estate of John Matics, filed the lawsuit June 21 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Viking Well Service, Inc.

She said he was given a hose that was unsuitable for the job he was instructed to perform, and it broke apart and struck him.

"Due to the inadequate rating of the hose and Viking Well's failure to abide by other mandated federal and state safety measures, said hose broke apart and the deceased… was struck by the broken end of the Dayco 7268 hose, suffering injuries which ultimately came to be fatal," the complaint says.

The alleged incident occurred Oct. 18 while Matics was working on a well in Matewan. The lawsuit says he was required to discharge the pressure and contents of a well into a collection pit.

The hose he was to use, it says, was for air and water use only. It says the well contained corrosive and flammable materials like hydrochloric acid, methanol, ethyl alcohol and nitrogen.

The lawsuit says the hose consisted of three smaller hoses connected together. The smallest one broke and struck Matics.

It says the hose had not undergone any pressure checks yet.

Eileen Matics is represented by Robert Berthold, Jr. of Charleston law firm Berthold, Tiano and O'Dell. She is seeking compensatory damages for the wrongful death of her husband and the negligence of Viking Well.

Judge Paul Zakaib has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1185

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