Family sues after man's clothes caught on fire at work

By Kyla Asbury | Jan 26, 2010

CHARLESTON -- A man and his wife are suing two companies and one person, both individually and on behalf of their two daughters after his clothing caught on fire while at work.

Industrial Contractors, Inc., Appalachian Power Company and Jeffrey Cronin, the job foreman, were named defendants in the case.

Dustin Bartrug worked for Industrial Contractors as an apprentice boilermaker and on Dec. 22, 2008, he was assigned to weld tube hangers to hold up platens in the boiler at the Appalachian Power Company Kanawha River Plant Unit #1, according to a complaint filed Dec. 23 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

On Dec. 22, 2008, the plant was in a "forced unplanned outage" while emergency work was being performed to the boiler. Bartrug claims he was advised by Cronin to wear a pair of orange coveralls, which he believed were treated with a fire retardant.

While working, Bartrug's leg caught on fire, but he claims he was unable to smother the fire because of the confined work area. He claims he crawled 30 feet through the closest boiler door, where co-workers were able to smother the fire.

Bartrug claims he suffered severe, permanent, disabling, disfiguring and debilitating injuries and that over 35 percent of his body was burned. His wife, Tracey Bartrug, and daughters Riley Chloe Bartrug and Natalie Ann Bartrug, suffered the loss of comfort, counsel and consortium.

The Bartrugs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Scott S. Segal, Mark R. Staun and Deborah L. McHenry of the Segal Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-2350

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