CHARLESTON – A Cedar Grove man claims he was injured while trying to register a false weight in his coal truck based on his employer's instructions.

William Calhoun filed a lawsuit June 2 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Medford Trucking, Spartan Mining Company, doing business as Mammoth Coal Co. and Kanawha Energy Corp.

Calhoun says that on Sept. 3, 2008, he transported a load of coal from Kanawha Energy's Kelly's Creek Rd. mine to Mammoth's coal scales. He claims crews at the mine knowingly overloaded his coal truck above the legal weight of 126,000 pounds.

Calhoun says this is standard practice. The plaintiff says he and other coal truck drivers have complained about the practice, but were told to "get the weight right" by obtaining a weight ticket that showed a legal weight.

On the day in question, Calhoun says he pulled up on the scale and it showed his load was 148,000 pounds. He claims he pulled his truck forward so the front axle was off the scale.

In order to get the ticket, Calhoun says he had to walk on a narrow pipe and climb up onto his truck. He says he fell onto the fuel tank of his truck and injured his back.

He's seeking compensatory damages and legal costs.

Joshua Barrett is representing the plaintiff. The case is before Kanawha Circuit Judge Irene Berger.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-1029

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