Man says he fell off bulldozer, sues employer

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 28, 2013

CHARLESTON - A former employee is suing Development Services Inc. for injuries he allegedly sustained while working.

Steven R. Adkins was employed by the defendant as a heavy equipment operator, according to a complaint filed Aug. 9 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Adkins claims on Jan. 3, 2012, he was operating a bulldozer when he fell approximately six feet and struck the ground.

As a result of Adkins' workplace accident, he filed a Workers' Compensation claim for benefits, which was found to be compensable, according to the suit.

Adkins claims his injuries were severe, as he developed a bulging disc in his injured hip and he was unable to work until April 8, 2012.

The plaintiff's treating physician released him to return to work as of April 9, 2012, according to the suit. However, prior to the issuance of the release to return to work, and while Adkins was still temporarily and totally disabled, the defendant wrongfully and unlawfully terminated Adkins' employment on Feb. 15, 2012.

Adkins claims the defendant's wrongful and unlawful termination violated substantial public policy and constituted a wrongful and lawful termination and retaliatory discharge.

The defendant violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act by discriminating against Adkins because of his work-related injuries, according to the suit.

Adkins is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Robert H. Miller II and Shawn R. Romano of Romano & Associates PLLC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-1514

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