West Virginia Record

Monday, March 30, 2020

Cabell decapitation case moved to federal court

By Kelly Holleran | Feb 17, 2010

HUNTINGTON – A Milton woman who claims her husband got killed when a defective machine decapitated his head has seen her complaint removed to U.S. District Court.

Rose Morrison originally filed a complaint in Cabell Circuit Court against Sulzer Metco and Jacob Kolojaco.

Rose Morrison claims her husband, Dwight R. Morrison, worked at Sulzer Metco's cooking plant in Barboursville on Feb. 25 when the incident occurred.

"Dwight R. Morrison worked inside a hand spray booth applying a protective coating to a twelve-foot steel shaft rotating on a 'rigged' high velocity lathe," the suit states. "The lathe had been modified by the defendant to operate at a high speed, was not designed for the spraying of protective coatings, was not properly guarded, and was otherwise unsafe which resulted in Mr. Morrison's decapitation and death."

At the time of the incident, Kolojaco acted as the plant manager, according to the complaint.

Rose Morrison blames Kolojaco and Sulzer Metco for causing her husband's death, saying they had never conducted a safety assessment on the machinery and subjected him to an unsafe working condition.

Because of her husband's death, Rose Morrison claims she suffered sorrow and mental anguish; lost Dwight Morrison's society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices, advice, income, services, protection, care and assistance; and incurred hospital and funeral costs.

She seeks punitive damages and other relief the court deems just.

Sulzer Metco and Kolojaco removed Rose Morrison's complaint to federal court, saying because she seeks more than $75,000 and because she resides in a different state than the defendants, the case belongs in U.S. District Court.

Michael C. Walker of Greene, Ketchum, Bailey, Walker, Farrell and Tweel in Huntington and David J. Lockwood of Lockwood and Lockwood in Huntington will be representing Rose Morrison.

Mary H. Sanders and Michael P. Addair of Huddleston Bolen in Charleston will be representing Sulzer Metco and Kolojaco.

U.S. District Court case number: 3:10-39

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