Nickel plant worker hurt by intoxicated crane operator, suit claims

By Cara Bailey | Sep 18, 2007

Special Metals plant

HUNTINGTON - A Cabell County man who suffered serious injuries after his co-worker drove a crane while intoxicated and without glasses filed suit against his employer Special Metals Corp. in Cabell Circuit Court.

According to the suit filed Sept. 7, Shawn Boothe received injuries to his neck, back, legs, spine and bowels after crane operator James Spence caused a 20-ton vacuum lift to hit him. The incident, which occurred Sept. 7, 2005, caused him to be pinned between the lift and a steel railing.

Seeking $75,000 in damages, Boothe also names Precision Castparts Corp., Spence and John Doe Entity as defendants.

Boothe claims Special Metals, a nickel plant, is negligent and knew that Spence routinely operated the crane while intoxicated because of several complaints to management.

He claims he was prevented from working and has lost $50,000 in wages. He also incurred $25,000 in medical expenses.

According to the suit, Boothe has received workers compensation but claims he has been discriminated against because of his injuries. Boothe claims he has been verbally and physically assaulted by his supervisor and has been made to work jobs that are not light duty, as he was prescribed.

He also claims equipment he used was sabotaged in order to make it appear that he was not performing his job correctly.

Boothe, through attorney Chad Hatcher, claims the defendants' actions were willful, intentional and reckless misconduct sufficient to entitle Boothe to punitive damages.

The case has been assigned to Judge John L. Cummings.

Cabell Circuit Court case number 07-C-789

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