BECKLEY - Two employees of a Raleigh County gas station that was destroyed when a propane tank at the store exploded have filed a $60 million lawsuit against several companies they blame for the explosion.
Patricia Mullins and Leta Farley, along with their husbands, are just two of the families who filed the suit July 25 in Raleigh Circuit Court. Lee Anne Salomon and Kathy Sizemore, co-administrators of the estate of Craig L. Dorsey, a paramedic who died in the accident, are also named as plaintiffs in the suit.
Dorsey is one of four who died Jan. 30 when the propane tank exploded and destroyed the Flat Top Little General Store in Ghent. Five people were injured.
Mullins was an employee of the Little General, and Farley was employed by the Godfather's Pizza in the store. The lawsuit, filed by Beckley attorney Benny Jones, claims five companies, including Little General and Godfather's Pizza, were negligent by not providing a safe workplace and by not maintaining the propane tank.
The lawsuit also says the companies violated law by storing the propane next to the store. Several propane suppliers are also named in the suit and are accused of carelessly transferring propane from one tank to another.
The suit also blames all the defendants for failing to evacuate the building once they knew propane had escaped the tank.
According to the suit, Farley and Mullins suffered serious injuries to their heads, arms and legs, and incurred more than $300,000 in medical bills, plus lost wages.
Appalachian Heating LLC, ThompsonGas Propane Partners LLC, Ferrellgas Inc., BP America Inc., Little General Store, Inc. and Godfather's Pizza Inc. were named as defendants in the suit. Unnamed landowners, distributors and manufacturers of propane and equipment used at the store are also included as defendants.