PINEVILLE – A woman is suing Spartan Mining Company after she claims it caused the death of her husband.

Maxxim Shared Services and ANR Inc. were also named as defendants in the suit.

Mine ventilation at the Spartan Road Fork #51 mine is provided by a blowing main mine fan which moves approximately 462,100 cubic feet of air per minute, according to a complaint filed Aug. 8 in Wyoming Circuit Court.

Sherry Workman claims on July 26, 2016, safety technician Brent Pritchard went to the No. 3 shaft at approximately between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to check the water levels at the direction of mine foreman Ronald “Boone” Miller.

On the morning of July 27, 2016, Miller informed the maintenance superintendent Charles “Chuck” Blankenship Jr., of the loose guarding at the No. 3 shaft pump installation and Blankenship traveled to the No. 3 shaft on his way home from work that day to evaluate the damage to the guarding and determined that several threaded anchor blocks had broken off and needed re-welding, according to the suit.

Sherry Workman claims on July 28, 2016, Blankenship’s workload did not provide an opportunity to repair the loose guarding at the No. 3 shaft pump installation and, the following day, he was told by the mine foreman that the repair to the grating needed to get done soon so as to avoid a citation from an inspector.

On July 29, 2016, Blankenship enlisted the aid of Donald Workman to take care of the loose guarding, according to the suit.

Sherry Workman claims while Blankenship and Donald Workman were repairing the loose guarding, an incident occurred in which flames shot from the shaft and Donald Workman was sent approximately 15 feet in the air along with metal debris from around the shaft.

Donald Workman received second- and third-degree burns to more than 67 percent of his body, according to the suit.

Blankenship called for an ambulance, which arrived 20 minutes later, and the ambulance service immediately requested an Air Evac helicopter.

Donald Workman endured six days of unbearable and unimaginable pain and suffering as his wounds were scraped and cut away through multiple surgical procedures as his flesh began  to rot, ultimately resulting in sepsis and his death on Aug. 4, 2016, according to the suit.

Sherry Workman claims the defendants violated West Virginia Code and were negligent in allowing Donald Workman and Blankenship to repair the loose guarding when they did not have the training.

The defendants knowingly put miners in danger, according to the suit.

Sherry Workman is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by D. Blake Carter Jr.

Wyoming Circuit Court case number: 17-C-108

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