West Virginia Record

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Man says he fell while snake-proofing, sues over Workers' Comp coverage

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 23, 2013


WINFIELD - A former employee is suing Wildlife Removal Service for allegedly failing to provide Workers' Compensation coverage.

Christopher Noel Braley is doing business as Wildlife Removal Service.

Maxum Petroleum Products Inc. was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On Sept. 10, 2011, Darrell Crist was working as an employee of Braley and was "snake-proofing" the Maxum facility when he fell from a tree, according to a complaint filed Aug. 16 in Putnam Circuit Court.

Crist claims when he fell from the tree, he fell approximately 20 to 25 feet to the river bank below, sustaining injuries.

As a direct and proximate result of the fall, Crist was required to and did incur medical expenses in excess of $15,000, which he is unable to pay, according to the suit.

Crist claims when he filed for Workers' Compensation benefits, he discovered the defendants did not have Workers' Compensation coverage.

The defendants failed to provide Workers' Compensation insurance coverage for its employees, as required by law, according to the suit.

Crist claims the defendants failed to provide an adequate number of workers to clear the brush and trim the tree; failed to provide adequate supervision of the work activity; failed to provide experienced workers to perform the clearing; failed to properly supervise Crist's work activities; and failed to provide appropriate tools and equipment necessary to properly and safely trim the tree, including but not limited to fall protection.

As a direct and proximate result of the wrongful conduct of the defendants, Crist suffered physical injuries, including medical expenses and continues to suffer from the injuries sustained when he fell, according to the suit.

Crist is seeking compensatory damages. He is being represented by John H. Skaggs of the Calwell Practice PLLC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Phillip Stowers.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 13-C-274

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