Man says piece of metal caused injury during billboard removal

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 17, 2013

HUNTINGTON - A Huntington couple are suing Lamar Texas Limited Partnership for injuries allegedly sustained while on the job.

Lamar Advertising of Louisiana LLC and Does 1 through 15 were also named as a defendant in the suit.

On Nov. 23, 2011, Zachary Christian was working for Lamar in Culloden and had been assigned to take down a billboard, according to a complaint filed Oct. 4 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Christian claims he was injured when a piece of metal that his supervisor, Michael Stevens, was attempting to lower fell and struck him in the left knee, resulting in multiple ligamentous injuries and a fracture.

Stevens was lowering the piece of metal from the platform on the billboard with a modified ratchet strap, which was specifically labeled "Do not use for lifting," according to the suit.

Christian claims an MRI taken on Dec. 12, 2011, revealed full thickness tears of the anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament, as well as a bucket handle tear of the medial meniscus and a full thickness tear of the medial collateral ligament.

The injuries to Christian's left knee have required him to undergo several surgical procedures, including a left knee arthroscopy with arthroscopically-assisted medial meniscus repair, a left knee open repair of osteochondral fracture of the medial tibia plateau and a left knee open repair of the medial collateral ligament and capsular avulsion and tear, which were performed on Jan. 18, 2012, according to the suit.

Christian claims on May 24, 2012, he underwent surgery for the repair of his PCL and he has been prescribed Cyclobenzaprine, Ambien, Ibuprofen 800, Lexapro, Neurontin and Percocet.

Due to the injury, Christian has not worked since the injury occurred nearly two years ago and has been through multiple rounds of physical therapy to aid in his determined recovery, according to the suit.

Christian claims the defendants allowed an unsafe working condition to be present which represented a high degree of risk and a strong probability of serious injury to him.

The defendants' actions caused Christian to suffer lost wages and medical expenses, lost earning capacity, loss of employment benefits, and other economic benefits of his employment, according to the suit.

Christian claims his wife, Mindy Christian, suffered a loss of consortium due to her husband's injuries.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages with pre-judgment interest. They are being represented by J. Patrick L. Stephens and Mark F. Underwood of Underwood Law Offices.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 13-C-749

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