CHARLESTON – The widow of a man who
was electrocuted on the job is suing over his alleged wrongful death.
Alice Keener, individually and as
administrator of the estate of Rocky Allen Keener, filed the suit
April 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Asplundh Tree Expert
Co., Appalachian Power Company and Justin Peck.
On July 31, 2014, Peck was the crew
foreman for Asplundh at a tree-removal job in Bickmore. The work crew
for this job included the deceased. The afternoon of July 31, Keener
climbed a tree, de-limbed and topped it, climbed down from the tree
and sat on a tree stump located near a chain link fence on the
property, the suit alleges.
However, according to the complaint,
when the tree toppled, it did so in an allegedly uncontrollable
manner, glanced against the adjacent power lines, caused the power pole to
snap and caused the power lines to come into contact with the fence near
which Keener was sitting. He was electrocuted, the suit says.
In addition to the counts against Peck
and Asplundh, the suit brings a count of negligence against
Appalachian Power Company for its alleged negligence in allowing the
utility pole to remain in use.
Alice Keener seeks compensatory and
punitive damages from all three defendants, pre- and post-judgment
interest, court costs, attorney fees and other relief the court deems
proper. She also demands a trial by jury. She is represented by
Robert V. Berthold Jr. and Robert V. Berthold III of Berthold Law
Firm PLLC in Charleston.
Kanawha Circuit Court Case