Lawrence and Lucy Samons are suing the company and its former driver, William D. Henderson, of Kermit, W.Va., for an accident that occurred on Dec. 7, 2002.
According to Transtar owner Paul Allen Lafferty, Henderson was transporting Lucy Samons from McDowell ARH to Hazard for injuries she received that day. Her husband rode as a passenger in the vehicle, which ran through a red light at the intersection of Routes 80 and 680, where it crashed into an embankment.
The suit, filed by Prestonsburg attorney Stacy Marshall, alleges that Henderson's "negligence" caused the couple to suffer bodily injuries, mental anguish, pain and suffering.
They are seeking compensation for past and future mental and physical pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, and for the permanent impairment of their ability to earn money.
Lafferty denies negligence on behalf of the company, dismissing the suit as a "frivolous" action.
"When I got there, Mr. Samons was standing outside the ambulance smoking a cigarette," Lafferty said. "He got back inside the ambulance and began complaining with neck pain ... Basically, this is a frivolous, malicious lawsuit and we are looking at filing a lawsuit for malicious and frivolous claims against them. We feel this is an attempt to damage local emergency services and we intend to fight the case at all costs."
Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officer Tommy Gearheart, who investigated the accident, said the ambulance was moderately damaged in the accident. Workers drove it off the scene, he said.
Henderson, who had no previous accidents during his one year employment at Transtar, is no longer employed by the company. He left approximately three months after the accident, Lafferty said.
Marshall declined to comment on the specifics of the case yesterday.
"As far as I'm concerned this is an automobile accident claim and we'll litigate it in court," he said. "I will represent my clients zealously in this action."
Marshall said he will file an amended complaint in the case to correct a "typographical" error alleging that the ambulance overturned in the accident.
The lawsuit against Transtar comes approximately seven months after another negligence suit was dismissed against the company.
That suit, dismissed for lack of prosecution in January, alleged that Transtar was responsible for the death of Dennis Meadows, who was being transported from Highlands Regional Medical Center to the Veterans Hospital in Nashville.
The handwritten complaint, filed by North Carolina native Dennis F. Meadows, alleges that there was only enough oxygen on board the ambulance to treat the man during the first two-thirds of the trip.
"When Transtar arrived in Nashville, they dropped Dennis Meadows off and did not tell anyone who he was, why he was there or what was wrong with him," the suit alleges. "He never regained consciousness. He died shortly later."
Meadows failed to appear or respond to court proceedings for nearly three years, the dismissal order says.