MOUNDSVILLE – A Beckley woman is suing the Joy Manufacturing Co. and others following the death of her husband, citing negligence in the manufacturing and operating of its equipment and unsafe working environments as the cause.

Rita Svonavec, administratrix of the estate of Gregory Svonavec, filed a complaint in Marshall Circuit Court against Joy Manufacturing Co., Joy Technologies LLC, Joy Global Underground Coal Mining LLC, Catenary Coal Co. LLC and Patriot Coal Corp., alleging negligence, breach of implied warranty, strict liability and other counts.

Svonavec's husband was a miner from 1977 to 2012 and as such he was exposed to dangerous conditions regularly, the complaint states. Due to the nature of his work, he worked in close quarters to equipment designed by Joy Manufacturing Co. One such device generated and actually suspended coal particles in the air, thus exposing Svonavec to these dangerous particles. According to the complaint, he was diagnosed with coal worker's pneumoconiosis in March 2013 and died in December 2013. The plaintiff suffered greatly through the loss of her husband, not only as her financial provider, but also as her companion.

Svonavec is seeking compensation for all damages and trauma suffered, as well as all legal fees. She is represented by J. Michael Prascik and R. Dean Hartley of Hartley and O'Brian PLLC in Wheeling and by James A. Gianola of Gianola, Barnum, Bechtel and Jecklin in Morgantown. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jeffrey Cramer.

Marshall Circuit Court Case number 15-C-208

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