CHARLESTON – A Buckhannon man is suing his employer and a co-worker over injuries he suffered while working at a strip mine on the border of Kanawha and Boone counties.

Frank Harper filed a lawsuit March 13 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Catenary Coal Company and Joey Bartley.

Harper also filed an identical lawsuit in Boone Circuit Court because he isn't sure exactly where he was injured.

Catenary operates the Samples Mine in Leewood where Harper claims he was working when he was injured.

On March 23, 2007, Harper says he was driving a Dresser 830E truck and Bartley, of Dunbar, was operating a LeTourneau 1350 front end loader at the strip mine.

At some point, Bartley allegedly loaded a large boulder into the truck Harper was driving which was either empty of lightly loaded.

The weight of the boulder caused Harper to be jerked back and forth against the door of the truck, the complaint says. The incident has caused him several injuries, he claims.

Harper claims that prior to this incident, the coal company had received numerous complaints about the unsafe manner in which Bartley loaded trucks.

Nevertheless, the coal company has refused to discipline or reassign Bartley, the complaint says.

Harper claims he hasn't been able to work since his injury and is seeking various damages.

Michael Aloi is representing the plaintiff. The case is before Kanawha Circuit Judge James Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-455

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