Lawsuit says West Virginia Steel's crane dropped steel on worker

By Kyla Asbury | Sep 6, 2013

CHARLESTON - A Dunbar man is suing West Virginia Steel Corporation after he was allegedly injured by a crane on its premises.

Richard Witherspoon was employed by Express Service Inc. for work performed at West Virginia Steel's facility, according to a complaint filed Aug. 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Witherspoon claims on Aug. 22, 2011, he was operating one of West Virginia Steel's overhead cranes when it malfunctioned.

When the crane malfunctioned, it dropped a load of steel that landed on Witherspoon's right leg and due to the weight of the steel and the way it struck Witherspoon, both bones in his lower right leg were broken, according to the suit.

Witherspoon claims he has not worked since the date of injury and has continued to suffer from pain and physical limitations due to his workplace injury.

Prior to Witherspoon's injury, the defendant knew there were mechanical problems with the overhead crane at issue, according to the suit.

Witherspoon claims the defendant negligently maintained its equipment in a way that a risk of malfunction and injury was present.

The defendant's negligence was the proximate cause of Witherspoon's injuries and was a violation of West Virginia code, according to the suit.

Witherspoon is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by JB Akers of Akers Law Offices PLLC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-1580

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