PIKEVILLE - Jason Smith, a 33-year-old resident of Sitka, has alleged in a civil lawsuit filed in the Pike Circuit Court that he has received “serious, permanent and life-altering” injuries as a result of the “reckless” and “negligent” operation of a loaded coal truck.
According to Smith’s allegations, “in the early morning darkness (on September 1, 2010), Defendant’s driver, Cecil Slone, operated Defendant’s loaded tractor-trailer down Robinson Creek and, when Slone reached the junction with US 23, he failed to concede the right-of-way to Plaintiff, who was operating his vehicle south on US 23 in a safe and reasonable way, and Slone—perhaps because he was in a ‘hurry’ to get his cargo to market—pulled his loaded vehicle onto US 23 in front of Plaintiff, causing a violent crash which caused serious, substantial and permanent injuries to Plaintiff (who, finally released from a hospital, now requires a wheelchair and a caregiver).”
Smith’s suit—filed by Kirk Law Firm against Chaney Enterprises, a Pikeville Company owned by Mark Chaney—alleges damages to Smith spine, brain and limbs “exceeding $10 million” for past and future “hospitalization and medical treatment,” for “permanent disability, use of a wheelchair and need for a caregiver,” for “past, present and future physical pain and suffering,” for “past, present and future psychological problems as well as other personal and financial issues,” and damages because Plaintiff “is permanently unable to return to the high-paying type of work he had done for several years.” Smith was employed in the coal mining industry.
The lawsuit alleges that since the Defendant was “paid by the load”
of coal delivered from a mining site to market, there was an “incentive”
for the driver to “hurry”. An allegation was also made that
a “large, loaded, tractor-trailer (coal truck), as it travels upon
public roadways, is a ‘dangerous vehicle’ and that the driver
“owed a duty to Jason Smith (and every other driver he encountered)
to operate his loaded tractor-trailer coal truck in a careful, lawful
and prudent manner and to maintain control of his vehicle at all times.”
Smith’s suit also asks for “punitive damages’ because the driver of the coal truck allegedly breached various safety laws. The suit also asked for a Jury Trial and for such other relief “which is just and proper.”