WHEELING -- A lawsuit says two companies skimped on safety measures for workers, resulting in a man's death.
Cindy Samuelson, administratrix of the estate of Roger Lee Samuelson filed a lawsuit in Ohio Circuit Court against Armstrong Steel Erectors Inc. and The Velotta Company.
The lawsuit was filed in Ohio County, though Roger Lee's fatal fall occurred during a bridge job in Monongalia County. The complaint cites work the companies performed on the Wheeling Tunnel as designating the venue.
According to the complaint, Roger Lee was a member of Ironworkers Local 549 and was an employee of Armstrong Steel.
On Sept. 10, 2007, he was part of a crew that was building a bridge on U.S. 19 near Osage, just outside of Morgantown, the lawsuit says.
Roger Lee's and other workers' foreman instructed the crew to install steel deck pans on iron angles and secure them with tapping screws. To do the job, Roger Lee and other workers were required to work on bridge beams that were about 50 feet in the air.
The complaint says that, despite the height, Roger Lee was not "tied off." During the performance of the job, Roger Lee stepped on an unsecured panel, causing it to slide.
Roger Lee fell off the bridge into the shallow, rocky creek below, the complaint says. He died as a result of the fall.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages and legal costs.
Robert P. Fitzsimmons, Clayton J. Fitzsimmons and Mark A. Colantonio are representing the plaintiff.
Ohio Circuit Court case number: 09-C-187