Man says Patriot Coal caused work injuries

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 15, 2013

CHARLESTON - A Hernshaw man is suing Patriot Coal Corporation after he claims he was injured while on the job.

Remington LLC and Remington Holdings LLC were also named as defendants in the suit.

On May 21, 2012, George Runion was assigned to operate and use a Johnson personnel carrier for purposes of transporting timbers, according to a complaint filed Oct. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Runion claims the defendants had a duty to safely and properly maintain, inspect and repair the Johnson carrier and to ensure that it and its parts and components were in safe operating condition, but, the defendants failed to do so.

The defendants knew that the Johnson carrier and other Johnson carriers in its fleet contained axles that were continually unsafe, in a dangerous state of disrepair and/or otherwise failed, according to the suit.

Runion claims he was in the process of transporting timbers on the Johnson carrier within an area of a mine marked by hilly terrain and during the transport, the Johnson carrier axle failed.

As a result of the dangerous condition of the Johnson carrier, Runion was unable to engage the brake system and the carrier rolled backward down the slop he was ascending at a high rate of speed, crashing into a group of timbers and causing them to fall onto him, resulting in severe and permanent injuries to his cervical spine, according to the suit.

Runion claims suffered extreme physical pain and suffering; extreme mental anguish and suffering; permanent physical impairment; loss of wages and benefits; loss of future earning capacity and benefits; loss of capacity to enjoy life; medical expenses; annoyance and inconvenience; and severe and permanent scarring and disfigurement.

The defendant negligently and carelessly failed to provide Runion and other employees with a reasonably safe place to work, according to the suit.

Runion is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Brett J. Preston, C. Benjamin Salango and Dan R. Snuffer of Preston & Salango PLLC and J. Kristopher Cormany of Cormany Law PLLC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-2027

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