Couple sue Walls Sanitation, claim dump truck exploded

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 13, 2013

MORGANTOWN - A couple are suing Walls Sanitation for injuries a man allegedly sustained on the job.

Delmer Walls and Suzanne Walls were also named as defendants in the suit.

James M. Cleavenger was employed by Walls Sanitation on June 20, 2011, and as part of his work responsibilities, he was required to drive and/or ride in a 2003 Mack Dump truck on a regularly scheduled garbage pickup route, according to a complaint filed June 4 in Monongalia Circuit Court.

Cleavenger claims the Mack Dump truck was not properly maintained or inspected and was serviced routinely by an unqualified employee without proper training or qualification, which made the truck dangerous.

On June 20, 2011, while operating, occupying and/or exiting the Mack Dump truck, Cleavenger suffered serious and permanent personal injuries when the cab of the truck exploded, according to the suit.

Cleavenger claims Walls Sanitation had actual prior knowledge and an appreciation of the existence of the specific unsafe working condition and of the high degree of risk and strong probability of serious injuries.

As a direct and proximate result of the defendants' actions, Cleavenger suffered medical-related expenses; lost wages; loss of enjoyment of life; mental anguish; and permanent injury, scarring and disfigurement, according to the suit.

Cleavenger claims the defendants; failed to correct the conditions or warn him of the conditions, which violated Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and well-known industry standards, which constitutes negligence

As a result of the defendants' negligence, Betty Cleavenger suffered loss of consortium and loss of society, affection and assistance of her spouse, according to the suit.

The Cleavengers are seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by John R. Angotti and David J. Straface of Angotti & Straface LC.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 13-C-425

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