Inmate sues after he was injured on work crew

By Cara Bailey | Dec 14, 2007

CHARLESTON - An inmate in the Ohio County Correctional Center has filed a suit against a man who injured him when he was on a work crew.

Frederick A. Bennett filed a suit Nov. 30 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Roscoe Johnston and the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways.

According to the suit, Bennett was working as a flagman on a work crew in Marshall County on July 7, 2006.

Part of his duties included alerting oncoming motorists to the presence of the workers in the roadway, reduced speeds and the need for caution.

Bennett claims that while he was working, Roscoe Johnston approached the work location at a high rate of speed, apparently ignoring the warning signs, and hit the sign Bennett was holding. The force of the impact caused Bennett to be knocked to the pavement. He claims he received a lumbar spine injury, which was superimposed on a pre-existing laminectomy.

According to the suit, the Division of Highways was negligent by failing to properly ensure the safety of the work site and failing to properly place warning signs. Johnston failed to keep a proper lookout and operated his vehicle in a negligent manner.

Therefore, Bennett seeks an amount adequate to compensate him for his injuries and damages.

Attorney Larry O. Ford is representing Bennett. The case has been assigned to Judge James Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-2564

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