PIKEVILLE — A Letcher County husband and wife are suing four coal companies, alleging negligence led to an accident which caused the husband to lose his leg.
Jarrod and Linda Sergent filed suit in Knott Circuit Court against ICG Knott County, International Coal Group, ICG Inc. of Delaware and Arch Coal, one year to the day that Jarrod Sergent was involved in a roof fall that ultimately cost him his leg. The case was transferred to federal court Monday.
Jarrod Sergent was a miner at the Kathleen Mine, near Topmost. On Sept. 19, 2011, he was operating a double-headed roof bolting machine, when a section of roof measuring 56 inches by 35 inches by 11 inches broke free and landed on his left leg.
He was transported from the mine by ambulance, then flown by helicopter to Holston Valley Medical Center, in Kingsport, Tenn. Eleven days later, doctors amputated his left leg below the calf.
The Sergents allege the coal companies were not in compliance with safety procedures that could have prevented the fall, and, according to their complaint, regulators agree.
“Because the roof was not adequately supported, the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing issued a notice of non-compliance to ICG Knott County and determined that Sergent’s injuries occurred because of the mine operator’s non-compliance with the mine’s roof control plan,” the complaint says.
The Sergents accuse the companies of negligence, gross negligence and negligence per se. They are seeking compensation for Jarrod Sergent’s lost ability to earn a living, past and future medical expenses, other past and future expenses, and pain and suffering, as well as Linda Sergent’s loss of spousal consortium and mental and emotional distress. They are also seeking punitive damages.