The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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November 19, 2013

Injured miner seeks $4 million in lawsuit against ICG, co-worker

BECKLEY — A Raleigh County miner is seeking more than $4 million in damages for injuries he allegedly sustained in April while working at International Coal Group’s Beckley Pocahontas mine.

James Gregory Davis, 42, of Eccles, filed suit Nov. 1 in Raleigh County Circuit Court, naming ICG Coal Group LLC, Arch Coal Inc. (the parent company of ICG Beckley) and Raleigh County resident George Taylor as defendants.

According to the complaint, Davis, a mine electrician, was standing beside a two-person, rubber-tired man trip buggy when Taylor pulled the throttle cable with a pair of channel locks, which caused the buggy to energize.

Davis claims the buggy ran over him, pinned him to the mine rib, injuring his leg.

A day shift safety compliance officer had “tagged out” the buggy before the incident, according to the suit, and it was taken out of service and unavailable to anyone except a “qualified person” to perform repairs. The suit claims that Taylor was not qualified to use the buggy.

Davis was taken to a Beckley hospital, where he remained for a week to undergo fibula and tibia surgery, which involved multiple procedures.

The suit claims Davis’ left leg “is no longer useful for any work-related purpose” and he must have additional surgeries  and physical therapy in the future.

Davis is claiming the defendants are liable for his injuries because they failed to ensure a safe working environment.

The suit said Davis has been a coal miner for the past 10 years and a mine electrician for the past four. Aside from electrical training and on-the-job mine training, the complaint states that Davis has no other work-related training.

Davis is demanding a trial by jury and he is being represented by Richard Neely, with Neely and Callaghan in Charleston.

Davis is seeking $2,915,000 for lost wages and lost future earnings, $850,000 for lost of past and future enjoyment of life and $500,000 for past and future pain and suffering.

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