Mason alloy plant named in two personal injury suits

By Lawrence Smith | May 28, 2010

POINT PLEASANT -- Two employees of a Mason County alloy plant are suing their employer for on-the-job injuries.

David Reynolds and Frederick Cooper filed separate lawsuits in Mason Circuit Court against Felman Productions. In their respective complaints filed on April 12 and 14, Reynolds and Cooper allege the ferroalloy producer failed to take precautions at its Letart plant to prevent the injuries the men received working there in 2008.

In his suit, Reynolds says he began work at Felman on Jan. 20, 2007. He worked as stoker at one of the furnaces used in production of ferrosilicomanganese,

On April 29, 2008, Reynolds was operating a machine on the plant's second floor to stoke the furnace. In the course of operating the machine, Reynolds says one of the wheels caught the edge of a hole in the floor causing it "to drop down into the floor."

The jarring he received from the drop, Reynolds alleges, caused him to sustain injuries to his "back, legs other parts of his body." The injuries to his back resulted in him undergoing "a laminectomy, decompression, and spinal fusion surgical procedures."

Due to the extreme heat from the furnaces, Reynolds says holes in the floor are a regular occurrence. Felman would cover the holes but only "with a temporary sealing agent that was inadequate to prevent further wear and tear."

Almost two months after Reynold's injury, Cooper alleges he sustained his. Like with Reynolds, Cooper's injury come while operating a machine.

According to his suit, Cooper was working as a brakeman for Felman on June 19, 2008. On that day he was asked to operate a crane.

The crane, Cooper alleges, was taken out of service when the plant was owned by American Alloys which shuttered the plant in 2000. It was placed back into service in May 2008.

The crane was placed back into service despite removal of the boom. In the course of operating the crane, Cooper alleges it toppled over resulting in him "suffer[ing] serious bodily injuries."

In his suit, Cooper does not specify the extent of his injuries except that suffered "[p]ermanent scaring and disfigurement." Also, he alleges the injury resulted in him not only incurring "expenses for medications, medical attention, hospital care, surgeries," but also suffering "[g]reat physical pain and mental anguish...loss of enjoyment of life and lost wages including overtime pay."

Likewise, Reynolds alleges the injury he incurred caused him to suffer "a loss of wages, loss of earning capacity and loss of ability to perform household services" as well as "humiliation, embarrassment, annoyance and inconvenience."

Both men seek unspecified damages, court costs, interest and attorney fees. Reynolds is represented by Tammy Bowles Raines with the Warner Law Offices in Charleston, and Cooper is represented by Dwight J. Staples with the Huntington law firm of Henderson, Henderson and Staples.

Both cases are assigned to Judge David W. Nibert.

Mason Circuit Court, case numbers 10-C-36 (Reynolds) and 38 (Cooper)

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