WHEELING – A couple is suing Stone Energy Corp. after they claim injuries were sustained during a flash fire.

Stone owned, operated and controlled a natural gas well pad in New Martinsville known as “Howell Pad,” according to a complaint filed Sept. 12 in Wetzel Circuit Court and removed to federal court on Oct. 5.

On Oct. 28, 2016, the defendant set out to perform maintenance on the gas processing units at the Howell Pad.

Randy Eller was working at the Howell Pad and, while the specific gas processing unit undergoing maintenance was “shut down” during the procedure, the adjacent gas processing units remained in operation.

Randy Eller and Nancy Eller claim the temperature on the heated surface of the adjacent gas processing units reached approximately 428 degrees Fahrenheit as a result of their operational condition.

Stone caused an environment where its employee was venting natural gas into the atmosphere a short distance from a super-heated surface, thereby exposing its own employee and others, including Randy Eller, to a high risk of a flash fire, according to the suit.

The Ellers claim a flash fire occurred that caused serious and permanent injuries to Randy Eller.

As a direct result of the negligence of Stone, Randy Eller suffered severe and permanent injuries; suffered great pain of body and mind; a loss of enjoyment of life; and mental anguish, according to the suit.

The Ellers claim Stone is vicariously liable for the negligent acts and omissions of it employees that created the dangerous conditions and resulted in the Oct. 28, 2016, flash fire at Howell Pad that injured Randy Eller.

The defendant’s conduct constitutes recklessness and a conscious disregard for the rights and safety of Randy Eller, according to the suit.

The Ellers are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Geoffrey C. Brown and James G. Bordas of Bordas & Bordas.

The defendant is represented by Jeffrey D. Van Volkenburg and Woodrow E. Turner of McNeer, Highland, McMunn & Varner.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 5:17-cv-00153

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