Thumb chopped off, suit says

By John O'Brien | Sep 8, 2006

CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County man blames his employer for an alleged incident that cut off his thumb.

John C. Butler filed suit Aug. 31 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Designer Home Builders, doing business as Cummings Builders.

On Nov. 31, 2004, Butler says he was working as a laborer, making angular cuts on a handrail post.

"The procedure employed by Defendant Cummings for making such cuts required Plaintiff to hold the post being cut while his co-worker manually drew back the blade guard on a circular saw and performed the cut," the complaint says.

However, Butler says, the saw slipped off its track and "amputated Plaintiff's thumb and severely injured Plaintiff's hand."

Butler seeks compensatory damages for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent physical impairment, loss of wages and benefits, loss of earning capacity benefits, loss of capacity to enjoy life, medical expenses, annoyance and inconvenience.

"Despite the recognized safety hazard presented, in contravention of applicable standards and regulation, Defendant directed Plaintiff and his co-worker to engage in this hazardous conduct," the complaint says.

Brett Preston of Preston and Salango in Charleston is representing Butler.

Judge Tod Kaufman has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1774

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