CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County couple filed a suit against a local chemical manufacturing facility after the husband was injured while unloading chemicals from one of the barges.

Kirby and Janet Jones filed a suit July 16 in Kanawha Circuit Court, against E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, known as DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise, and Ingram Barge Company.

According to the suit, Ingram is named as a defendant because of the General Maritime Law of the United States which, "permits negligence claims and claims of unseaworthiness to be brought against the owners of navigable vessels for harm resulting to others."

Kirby Jones was a Lucite Area Operator and worked unloading river barges. On Oct. 12, 2005, Jones was working with co-worker Bob Burns to unload Methyl Methacrylate from one of the barges.

While they were unloading the barge, the men had trouble turning the #3 compartment valve wheel, which prevented them from unloading that compartment.

According to the suit, Jones' supervisor told his to use the cheeter bar, which is against written safety standards. The supervisor, Dale Holstein, told another man, George Selbe, to use the cheeter bar to open the valve wheel. Selbe did, but the wheel became stuck again.

According to the suit, after unloading part of the compartment, Jones tried to close the valve wheel by using the cheeter bar.

"While he was in the process of pushing on the cheeter bar, the valve wheel and cheeter bar recoiled backward, throwing (Jones) backward and causing him to strike his back against a pipe, resulting in severe and permanent injuries," the suit says.

Jones was transported by ambulance to Saint Francis Hospital.

In the four-count suit, Jones claims he has been permanently disabled, lost wages and benefits and incurred pain and suffering and medical expenses.

Attorney Thomas F. Basile is representing Kirby and Janet Jones. The case has been assigned to Judge Tod Jaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-1465

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