Couple sues Speed Mining, Patriot Coal for injuries

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 3, 2010

CHARLESTON -- A Princewick man and his wife are suing Speed Mining and Patriot Coal after he was injured while working at the American Eagle Mine.

On Feb. 6, 2009, Melvin D. Hubbard was working as a mine electrician and was injured while riding on a "tub" that was being used as a mantrip vehicle, according to a complaint filed Feb. 16 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Hubbard claims while riding in the tub it was involved in a collision with another vehicle that had been stopped and unattended on the same track, which resulted in injuries, including four broken ribs, a punctured lung, extensive bruising, extensive scarring, disfigurement and a severe right shoulder injury that required extensive surgery.

Hubbard claims the surgery caused him to suffer extensive nerve damages and he lost the use of his right hand.

The mantrip vehicle had no seatbelts, no lights on the front of it, had no working brakes or working radio to allow the driver to determine the existence of other traffic on the same track, the seat was not bolted down to the floor and the driver was driving too fast for the conditions, according to the suit.

Hubbard claims management had actual knowledge in advance of the accident of the safety violations because he complained to the chief electrician concerning the driver's speed on mantrips and poor condition of the equipment.

Hubbard claims he cannot sleep at night, is required to take Hydrocodone and Loritab, has lost the ability to enjoy life, and has lost the ability to perform necessary household services for himself, his wife, Brenda Hubbard, and son, Jason Hubbard.

The Hubbards are seeking damages in an amount to be determined by a jury. They are being represented by Richard Neely, John D. Wooton and Christopher M. Davis.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-274

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