Kanawha couple sues Argus Energy for work-related injuries

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 5, 2011

WAYNE -- A Kanawha County man and his wife are suing Argus Energy LLC after he claims he was injured while working.

Marco Mine Supply and Superior Highwall Miners were also named as defendants in the suit.

Gary Estep was employed by Cummins Crosspoint to service mining machinery. Cummins Crosspoint was employed by Marco Mine Supply to repair mining equipment that it supplied to Argus Energy for its mining operations.

On Feb. 27, 2009, Argus Energy was using a Superior Highwall Miner that it had purchased or leased from Marco Mine Supply, who had purchased it from Superior Highwall Miners, Inc., according to a complaint filed Feb. 23 in Wayne Circuit Court.

Estep claims prior to the accident the highwall miner had fallen into a state of disrepair and Cummins Crosspoint was contacted and asked to send a maintenance man to the work site to repair it.

When Estep arrived at the work site, he noted that Argus Energy had not leveled the machine, so it was sitting at an angle, which meant there was an increased chance that any man working on the machine might fall or the doors could come open and knock the employee to the ground, according to the suit.

Estep claims he asked the defendants to level the machine so he could work safely on it, but they failed to do so.

While working on the machine, a door came open and hit Estep, causing him to fall off of the machine and suffer injuries, according to the suit.

Estep claims the defendants were negligent in failing to put the machine in a level and safe position so that it could be worked on.

Estep and his wife, Violet Louis Estep, are seeking compensatory damages. They are being represented by J. Michael Ranson, Cynthia M. Ranson, George B. Morrone III and G. Patrick Jacobs.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James H. Young.

Wayne Circuit Court case number: 11-C-039

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