MOUNDSVILLE – A Tyler County man alleges an unsafe work environment led to him fracturing multiple vertebra in a collision with a lift and a train.

Joseph W. Kline filed a complaint Oct. 20 in Marshall Circuit Court against Chapman Corp., Covestro LLC, Covestro International Trade Services Corp., and United Rentals (North America) Inc. alleging deliberate intent, negligence and spoliation of evidence.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on Oct. 23, 2015, he was working for the Chapman and Covestro defendants at their New Martinsville site facility and was instructed to install a pipe joint using a JLG lift. The suits the lift was rented from United Rentals.

The suit states the plaintiff operated the lift while a co-worker walked beside it. He alleges he had to cross an active main railroad track to install the pipe joint and a train appeared while he was crossing. The suit states the plaintiff attempted to get the lift out of the train's path and when he realized it was not, unhooked his safety harness moments before the train collided with the lift. He alleges he was ejected from the life and thrown into the air, sustaining multiple vertebra fractures.

The plaintiff holds Chapman Corp., Covestro LLC, Covestro International Trade Services Corp. and United Rentals (North America) Inc. responsible because the defendants allegedly exposed the plaintiff to unsafe working conditions, failed to provide training and that United Rentals spoliated the JLG lift codes the plaintiff needed for his civil action.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against the defendants in an amount that exceeds the minimum limit of this court, plus interest, court costs, punitive damages and any further relief the court grants. He is represented by Robert B. Warner, Lynnette Simon Marshall and Andrew D. Byrd of Warner Law Offices PLLC in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David W. Hummel Jr.

Marshall Circuit Court case number 17-C-213

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