Putnam couple sues MU Board for injuries

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 3, 2011

HUNTINGTON -- A Putnam County couple is suing Marshall University Board of Governors after they were injured on their way to attend a class.

HUNTINGTON -- A Putnam County couple is suing Marshall University Board of Governors after they were injured on their way to attend a class.

On Sept. 3, 2009, Loretta Sovine and Zach Sovine were walking to class in Harris Hall on Marshall University's campus, according to a complaint filed Sept. 9 in Cabell Circuit Court.

The couple claims the defendant was performing construction work near the building and had employees operating motorized carts to carry cargo and other materials in close proximity to Harris Hall.

While the plaintiffs were walking to the Third Avenue entrance of Harris Hall, an employee of the defendant was loading boxes into one of the carts and had left the cart running with no safety brake or parking brake applied, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the employee proceeded to drop one of the boxes on the gas pedal of the cart, which caused the cart to accelerate toward them and hit them.

The cart rammed into Loretta Sovine, which resulted in serious injuries to her body and internal bleeding, which caused her to be treated in Cabell Huntington Hospital for three days, according to the suit.

Zach Sovine was injured when he attempted to pull Loretta Sovine out of the way during the collision.

The defendant breached its duty to properly train its employees in regard to the use of the motorized carts, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Roger D. Forman and Daniel T. Lattanzi.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 11-C-662

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