Couple sue Cequel III Communications for work injuries

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 3, 2013

CHARLESTON - A Nitro man and his wife are suing Cequel III Communications after he was injured while working.

James Beabout, an employee of Cequel, was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On Aug. 2, Sanford Joe Cook was dispatched to a home in Clendenin for the purpose of repairing telephone, television and Internet services to the home, according to a complaint filed March 27 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Cook claims previously, supervisors had designated the repair job at the home as a two-person job and one previous technician had been sent to other jobs because a second man was not available to help him.

When Cook was dispatched to the job, he was informed that it was a two-person job and that he would be accompanied by another technician, according to the suit. However, upon arriving at the job site, it became obvious that a second technician would not arrive to help him and Beabout informed him there would be no second person for the job.

Cook claims Beabout instructed him to do the job without the help of a second technician notwithstanding that the Derecho winds had produced numerous felled trees and the hillside on which the cable needed to be strung was very steep and wet.

Directly because there was no second person to help him, Cook endeavored to throw cable over an embankment, and in the course of doing so, his leg slipped on the wet ground and he fell back on his arm, severely injuring himself, according to the suit.

Cook claims the defendants knew the job was a two-person job and willfully, deliberately and intentionally exposed him to hazardous conditions.

As a result of the defendants' actions, Cook suffered substantial damages and injuries, according to the suit.

Cook and his wife, Joann T. Cook, are seeking actual damages in the amount of $1,242,000 for lost wages and lost future earnings; $850,000 for loss of past and future enjoyment of life; $500,000 for pain and suffering' and $500,000 for loss of consortium. They are being represented by Richard Neely and Michael O. Callaghan of Neely & Callaghan.

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

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-576

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