CHARLESTON -- A Princeton couple is suing Halliburton Energy Services for injuries sustained while performing work duties.

An unknown person, called John Doe, also was named as a defendant in the suit.

On Oct. 5, 2011, Rickie Lee Durham, was dispatched by ACME Truck Lines to the Halliburton facility in Carmichaels, Pa., to pick up a load of goods and equipment for delivery, including 18-foot and 8-inch diameter steel pipes referred to as stabilizers, according to a complaint filed Aug. 13 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Durham claims Doe operated a forklift while attempting to load the stabilizers onto his tractor trailer and raised the load of stabilizers too high to be safely loaded onto the tractor trailer.

Doe attempted to place toe forklift into reverse to readjust and reattempt the loading of the stabilizers when he lost control of the load of stabilizers on the forklift and the stabilizers fell from the forklift, according to the suit.

Durham claims when Doe lost control of the stabilizers, one of them fell and crushed his foot.

Doe was negligent in the operation of the forklift and in raising an unsecured load of heavy material too high; operating a heavily loaded forklift too quickly for the circumstances; putting a heavily loaded forklift into reverse too quickly; failing to properly monitor a heavy forklift load; failing to warn surrounding individuals that he would be changing direction while holding a heavy, unsecured load; failing to use due care in the operation of the forklift; and other acts and omissions.

Durham claims Halliburton is liable for the acts of its agents, employees and/or servants.

Halliburton was negligent in failing to train individuals to operate forklifts; failing to train individuals in the proper loading of tractor trailers; permitting an unqualified individual to operate a forklift to load a tractor trailer; requiring Durham to load his tractor trailer in an uneven and unstable gravel loading area; rushing the loading of the tractor trailer; failing to monitor the actions of its employees in the loading and securing of loads to tractor trailers; and failing to provide proper equipment to permit the safe loading of tractor trailers, according to the suit.

Durham and his wife, Priscilla Durham, are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Christopher J. Regan and Jeremy M. McGraw.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-1604

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