Woman blames W.Va. Steel for daughter's coma

By Chris Dickerson | Jun 12, 2009

WINFIELD – The mother of a Boone County woman who was left comatose after a 2007 tractor trailer accident is suing West Virginia Steel.

Lila Thomas filed the complaint June 12 individually and on behalf of her daughter, Lori Thomas.

Lori Thomas was a truck driver for W.Va. Steel on June 14, 2007, when she was injured when a load of steel she was transporting shifted and came loose from the trailer. As a result, Lori Thomas suffered a brain injury that left her incapacitated, comatose and dependent on healthcare providers.

"She requires constant medical care and nursing services," the complaint, filed by Hurricane attorney James R. Fox, states.

Lila Thomas blames W.Va. Steel for loading and securing the load improperly. She says the company is responsible for acting with "a consciously, subjectively and deliberately formed intention to produce injuries" suffered by her daughter, and she says the company is liable for "the serious, life altering injuries" suffered.

"Lori Thomas has suffered tremendous pain and discomfort, and ultimately became comatose due to the injuries," the complaint states. "Lori Thomas has also incurred significant medical expenses and lost income doe to these injuries. She has completely lost the ability to enjoy her life or to engage in any type of activity due to the brain injury."

Because her injuries are irreversible, Lori Thomas will continue to suffer, according to the lawsuit.

Lila Thomas seeks compensatory damages for her daughter's inability to enjoy life, life care expenses, pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, annoyance and inconvenience, sorrow and mental anguish as well as for the loss of solace, society, companionship, comfort and advice.

She also seeks punitive damages, other economic and non-economic damages, attorney fees, court costs and pre- and post-judgment interest.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge O.C. "Hobby" Spaulding.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 09-C-177

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