ELKINS – A Lewis County man has filed suit against the heavy equipment manufacturer that he claims manufactured a roller that defectively failed to turn off when it flipped on its side, causing burning oil to spew on the man.

James R. Stutler Jr. claims he was operating a roller machine manufactured by Terex on Oct. 6, 2008, when the incident occurred.

"That part of the highway on the edge of the road gave in causing the Terex roller and the Plaintiff to fall down a hillside at which time the Terex roller did not land in a vertical position," Stutler's suit filed Oct. 1 in Lewis Circuit Court states.

"The Terex roller which was produced by the Defendant herein did not shut its motor off when the Terex roller was not vertical. The same caused the Terex roller to continue operation and spew boiling oil onto the body of the Plaintiff herein."

Because of the accident, Stutler sustained third-degree burns to his body, which required substantial medical care and resulted in permanent scarring, and suffered extreme pain, suffering, mental anguish, annoyance and inconvenience, according to the complaint.
Stutler blames Terex for causing his injuries, saying it negligently failed to provide an adequate mechanism to shut the Terex roller off when it was no longer upright.

But Terex denies Stutler's allegations against it, saying Stutler's injuries were caused by a superseding cause.

"The subject product and the component parts of such product conformed to the general state of the art with respect to design, use and manufacture of such product at all times relevant to this litigation," the suit states. "This subject product was not used as intended and/or was altered, misused and/or modified such that Plaintiff's claims are barred."

In his complaint, Stutler is seeking attorney fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Terex wants to see Stutler's complaint dismissed and wants to be awarded costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

Terex removed Stutler's complaint to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, alleging Stutler is seeking more than $75,000 and is a resident of a different state than the Delaware-based company.

Steven B. Nanners of the Law Offices of Nanners and Willett in Buckhannon will be representing Stutler.

Andrew B. Cooke of Flaherty, Sensabaugh and Bonasso in Charleston will be representing Terex.

U.S. District Court case number: 2:10-cv-120

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