Lynco man sues Bandmill Coal for work injuries

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 25, 2012

CHARLESTON -- A Lynco man is suing Bandmill Coal Corporation after he claims he was injured while performing his job duties.

Hi-Tech Construction Company was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On Sept. 29, 2010, Anthony Lester was assigned to operate a Caterpillar D6N bulldozer on a steep mountainside above a highwall for the purpose of pushing dirt over the highwall cliff to cover exposed rock of the highwall, according to a complaint filed Sept. 21 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Lester claims prior to Sept. 29, 2010, the bulldozer was crashed multiple times, which damaged its rollover protective structure.

The defendants failed to adequately secure the bulldozer on the steep mountainside where Lester was assigned to work, which exposed him to a high risk of serious injury or death from plummeting down the mountainside and over the highwall cliff, according to the suit.

Lester claims the defendants failed to maintain the cable that was used for securing the bulldozer and the defendants’ foreman ordered that he operate the bulldozer without adequate protection to prevent it from plummeting over the mountainside.

The defendants’ bulldozers were not equipped with functional radio communications, which exposed Lester to a high risk of serious injury or death because he was unable to request assistance, according to the suit.

Lester claims while he was carrying out his assigned work duties, the bulldozer “plummeted down the steep mountainside, falling over the highwall cliff and rolling multiple times until it came to rest several hundred feet down the mountainside.”

As a result of the defendants’ actions, Lester suffered severe and permanently disabling injuries, including a fractured humerus and lacerations to his scalp and thigh, according to the suit.

Lester claims the defendants had a duty to provide him with a safe place to work and failed to do so.

The defendants negligently intentionally exposed Lester to unsafe conditions, which violated West Virginia code, according to the suit.

Lester is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by J. Kristofer Cormany and Pamela A. Lambert.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-1919

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