Fayette man sues for on-the-job injuries

By Cara Bailey | May 16, 2008

CHARLESTON - A Fayette County man has filed a suit against a recycling company where he worked after he was seriously injured on the job.

Roger W. Oiler, II filed the suit April 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court, against RJ Recycling, Protrade Steel Company and Charles Mullins.

Oiler was employed by RJ Recycling, where Mullins was his supervisor.

According to the suit, Oiler was working at a mine site owned by Road Fork Development, a division of Massey Energy's Rawl Sales and Processing near Matewan, on Oct. 31, 2006.

Oiler claims he was often required to work at heights approaching 100 feet, which required safety equipment and instruction.

However, on Oct. 31, the trailer with the safety harnesses and fall protection was left behind.

According to the suit, Oiler was working at a height of 20-30 feet, using a cutting torch to demolish an old beltline on the mining property. RK Recycling was hired to remove, demolish and process the beltline for sale as scrap metal by Protrade Steel.

Oiler claims that while he was working on the beltline, he became aware that is was unstable.

"Mr. Oiler signaled to Mr. Mullins, who was at ground level, that there was a problem," the suit says. "Mr. Mullins climbed the beltline and took Mr. Oiler's torch saying that the plaintiff 'did not know what he was doing.'"

Mullins then resumed cutting the beltline, at which point the structure collapsed and fell to the ground, the suit says. Oiler claims he was seriously injured in the fall, including right and left wrist fractures, spinal fractures, hearing loss, loss of sensation and numbness, facial fractures, traumatic brain injury, permanent scarring and disfigurement.

According to the suit, Mullins seeks compensatory damages for his injuries.

Attorney James R. Akers is representing Mullins. The case has been assigned to Judge Irene Berger.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 08-C-749

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