West Virginia Record

Friday, January 24, 2020

Ga. man says AEP to blame for father's death

By Kelly Holleran | Oct 6, 2010

CHARLESTON – A Georgia man blames Appalachian Power for causing his father's death, saying it failed to provide protective equipment that would have prevented his father from falling more than two stories.

David Gary Deloach filed a lawsuit Sept. 13 in U.S. District Court against Appalachian Power Company doing business as American Electric Power and Stone and Webster Construction.

In his complaint, David Deloach claims his father, Gary Cecil Deloach, was killed on Sept. 23, 2008, when he fell 24 feet from a scaffolding ladder.

Directly before his fall, Gary Cecil Deloach had been working as a pipe fitter for Stone and Webster at the John Amos Power Plant where he constructed and installed plumbing, according to the complaint. In order to perform his job, Gary Cecil Deloach had to work at steep heights and was required to climb up and down scaffolding ladders with no fall protection, the suit states.

While climbing down one of the scaffolding ladders at about 2 a.m. on Sept. 23, 2008, Gary Cecil Deloach slipped on a pile of fly ash that he could not see because of dim lighting, the complaint says.

Before his death, Gary Cecil Deloach experienced pain and suffering, David Gary Deloach claims.

Because of Gary Cecil Deloach's death, his family members experienced sorrow, mental anguish and solace; lost his services, protection, care and assistance; and incurred funeral costs, the suit states.

David Gary Deloach blames Stone and Webster for causing his father's death, saying it negligently allowed an unsafe working condition to exist at the power plant, violated a well-known safety standard by allowing an unsafe working condition and intentionally exposed Gary Cecil Deloach to the unsafe working condition.

David Gary Deloach also names AEP as a defendant, saying it contracted Stone and Webster's services, and as such failed to provide a safe work environment, failed to correct fall hazards, failed to require Stone and Webster to comply with safety statutes, failed to conduct safety inspections and failed to provide adequate lighting and safe working surfaces.

In his three-count complaint, David Gary Deloach seeks compensatory damages, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

Guy R. Bucci, L. Lee Javins and Mark A. Barney of Bucci, Bailey and Javins in Charleston and Bruce L. Bruce of Bruce L. Bruce and Associates in Lewisburg will be representing him.

U.S. District Court case number: 3:10-cv-1097

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Bucci, Bailey and Javins