Lawsuit against Argus Energy over lack of handrail settled

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 10, 2013

The Sidney L. Christie Federal Building in Huntington

HUNTINGTON - A lawsuit against Argus Energy over the lack of a handrail on an offloader has been settled and dismissed from federal court.

On Oct. 2, an agreed dismissal order was filed in the U.S. District for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington.

Both parties announced to the court that the matter had been resolved between them and all claims in controversies in the matter have been agreed, compromised and resolved, according to the order.

On Feb. 22, 2011, Christopher Mounts was operating a Rotobec Coal Offloader owned by Argus while he was employed by the defendant in Wayne, according to a complaint initially filed Sept. 14, 2012, in Wayne Circuit Court and removed to federal court on Oct. 17, 2012.

Mounts claimed his shift ended and as he was exiting the machine, he fell six feet to the floor below and was injured.

To exit the offloader, an employee would have to stand up with his or her rear to the door and back off, then grab the door and ease themselves down, according to the suit.

Mounts claimed due to the offloader not having a handrail/guardrail while exiting the machine, he fell and sustained severe bodily injuries.

Argus knew the machine was being used without inspection for defects and caused Mounts' injuries to his back and leg, according to the suit.

Mounts was seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He was being represented by Donald R. Jarrell.

The case was assigned to District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington case number: 3:12-cv-06679

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