Company sues insureres over coal dumped on man in portable toilet

By Cara Bailey | Feb 2, 2007

CHARLESTON - A West Virginia coal company has filed a suit against its insurance companies seeking coverage after an employee was injured when a load of coal was dumped on the portable toilet he was in at the time.

Independence Coal Company filed the lawsuit Jan. 18 in Kanawha Circuit Cour, claiming Admiral Insurance Company and Songer Insurance Agency are obligated to pay for an incident involving Christopher Shadd that occurred May 18, 2005.

Shadd, a coal truck driver, was injured when a load of coal from a front-end loader operated by an Independence Coal Company employee came down on a portable toilet while Shadd was inside. At the time, the truck operated by Shadd, which was loaded by front-end loaders, was parked next to the portable toilet.

In October 2005, Shadd and his wife filed a lawsuit against Independence Coal Company. In that suit, Shadd claims he was injured in the accident, and he sought damages for the injuries.

The suit filed by ICC claims the company requested coverage from Admiral Insurance Company for the accident in December 2005. In May 2006, Admiral denied the coverage, and ICC then sought reconsideration.

River Oaks Construction also was named in the suit, which states the construction company and Songer Insurance Agency were in a contract with ICC to provide insurance coverage, but none was provided.

ICC seeks any and all damages under West Virginia's Unfair Trade Practices Act, including compensatory and punitive damages.

Tammy Harvey is representing Independence Coal Company, and the case has been assigned to Judge Paul Zakaib.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-116

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