Men sue after nearly being buried alive at Ohio power plant

By Cara Bailey | Jan 25, 2008

CHARLESTON - Two men working at a power plant in Ohio have filed a suit against the company after they received serious injuries when almost buried alive on the job.

David J. Fisher of Kanawha County and Eric D. Scaggs of Boyd County, Ky., filed the suit Jan. 7 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Veolia Es Industrial Services Inc., formerly known as Onyx Industrial Services.

According to the suit, the men were providing general labor to the plant Jan. 11, 2006. Part of their duties that day included hydroblasting and tank cleaning services, which included a lime slurry tank.

Scaggs and Fisher were assigned the task of cleaning the tank, under the supervision of Doug Looney and John Lett. According to the suit, the lime slurry tank is a confined space and not designed for continuous occupancy by a worker.

"Approximately one and a half hours into the entry of the tank, the column of lime slurry, which was of a mud type consistency, collapsed and engulfed the plaintiffs for approximately 15 minutes," the suit says.

Fisher and Scaggs were pinned against the tank wall and trapped by the slurry. They were buried past their necks and sustained burns and serious injuries.

"Plaintiffs were pulled out of the tank just prior to being buried alive in the lime slurry," the suit says.

In the six-count suit, Scaggs and Fisher claim they were seriously injured and suffered past and future medical expenses and related costs. They seek compensatory, general and punitive damages for their injuries.

Attorney Bernard E. Layne III is representing the men. The case has been assigned to Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case numbers 08-C-32 and 08-C-33

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