CHARLESTON - A man is suing MasTec Services Company Inc. after he claims he was injured while performing his work duties.

MasTec Inc., which is doing business as MasTec Energy Services and/or MasTec Energy Construction Services; Champion Corporation, which is also known as OK Champion; and Toney Booth were also named as defendants in the suit.

Keith Douglas Blake was employed by MasTec and on Feb. 27, 2012, he was assigned to a work crew that was performing underground utility services that included the use of a rodder truck, which would push a rotating, flexible metal rod through underground conduit so that other cables and wiring could be fed through the conduit more easily, according to a complaint filed Oct. 15 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Blake claims he was given the task of remaining in the underground utility manhole, which was approximately four feet in diameter and 10 feet deep, while a co-worker, who was located at the rodder truck on the street above operated the controls of the rodder truck.

As Blake attempted to guide the rod with his hands, the sleeve of his coat became entangled in the rotating rod and he was unable to escape its grasp or alert the operator located above ground, according to the suit.

Blake claims after several minutes, the rodder was stopped and he was able to free himself by cutting the sleeve loose from his coat.

However, before he was able to cut himself free, Blake suffered a traumatic crushing injury of his right upper extremity due to the compression from the wringing of his sleeve and rotating action of the flexible rod, according to the suit.

Blake claims as a result of the defendants' actions, he suffered extreme physical pain and suffering; extreme mental anguish and suffering; permanent physical impairment; loss of wages and benefits; loss of earning capacity and benefits; loss of capacity to enjoy life; medical expenses; and permanent scarring and disfigurement.

Blake is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by Edwin H. Pancake of Maroney, Williams, Weaver & Pancake PLLC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-1934

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