Pepsi delivery man sues Columbia Gas, elevator company for injuries

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 21, 2012

CHARLESTON -- A Pepsi Bottling Company employee is suing Columbia Gas Transmission and ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corporation after he suffered injuries in an elevator.

On Aug. 12, 2010, Thomas S. Wikel was performing his work duties for Pepsi and was directed and instructed by an agent of Columbia Gas to use a freight elevator when making deliveries, according to a complaint filed Aug. 1 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Wikel claims there was no agent, employee or person with Columbia Gas to train, instruct or demonstrate to him how to operate the freight elevator and that the elevator was in disrepair, had no handle or means to properly close the doors, had no instructions of use located in or near the elevator and was otherwise defective for its intended use.

While Wikel was carefully and lawfully operating the elevator, the elevator caused or contributed to the elevator doors crushing his right hand and wrist, according to the suit.

Wikel claims the defendants were under a duty to properly maintain the elevator and to otherwise exercise due care for the safety of those lawfully on the property.

The defendants breached their duty to Wikel by allowing him to sustain the injuries he suffered as a result of the defective elevator, according to the suit.

Wikel claims as a result of the defendants' negligent conduct, he suffered severe and permanent disabling injuries; sustained medical expenses; severe pain and suffering; mental anguish; emotional distress; loss of ability to enjoy life; impairment of the ability to care for himself; and other damages.

The defendants' conduct was willful, wanton, callous and intentional disregard of the rights and safety of others, according to the suit.

Wikel is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by D. Scott Tyree.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-1545

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