Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 27, 2013

Widow files suit in AK Steel death

CATLETTSBURG — The widow and son of a worker killed in an accident last year at AK Steel’s Ashland Works have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the company.

The suit, filed earlier this month in Boyd Circuit Court by Sheena and Davan Shelton, also names several unknown defendants, including the manufacturers, maintainers and distributors of the conveyor belt and shaker assembly on which Shaun Shelton was killed on March 2, 2012.

AK Steel denies wrongdoing in Shelton’s death in its response to the complaint.

Shelton, 27, of Westwood, was an employee of Stein Inc., an AK Steel contractor. He died after he was accidentally pulled onto the conveyor belt. A preliminary investigation indicated workers were loading slag onto the conveyor when Shelton saw a piece of material on the belt that wasn’t supposed to be there, authorities said.

As he was attempting to retrieve the object, another worker inadvertently tripped the switch and turned the conveyor belt on, which caused Shelton to be dragged onto the belt and crushed between the conveyor and a piece of metal.

Shelton died of asphyxiation, Boyd County Coroner Mark Hammond said at the time.

In the suit, Sheena Shelton, administratrix of her husband’s estate, alleges the conveyor and shaker both were defective in design and created a substantial risk of injury to users because they lacked safety features, including guards that would have prevented Shaun Shelton from being pulled onto the belt and cutoff switches that would have allowed him to stop the machinery once he was pulled onto it.

The suit, filed by attorney Kyle R. Salyer of the Kirk Law Firm, also alleges AK Steel is liable in Shaun Shelton’s death because, as the owner of the property on which the accident occurred, it “allowed the machinery to be installed and maintained in such a fashion that it created a man-made, naturally occurring hazard to anyone on the premises.”

The complaint also alleges AK Steel, through its agents, servants and/or employees, “prevented paramedics from coming onto the property” in response to Shaun Shelton’s accident, which “caused or contributed to his death.”

In its response, filed by attorney Carl Edwards of Ashland, AK Steel specifically denies those allegations, along with any other claims the company in any way contributed to Shaun Shelton’s death.

The company cites a total of 19 defenses in the response, among them that Shaun Shelton “failed to exercise the requisite degree of due and reasonable care for his own safety and welfare,” and said failure was “a substantial factor” in causing or contributing to the accident.

The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, along with attorney fees and court costs.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

Text Only
Local News
  • 07/26/2014 — Reunions

    Local news

    July 26, 2014

  • Highway naming ceremony set

    State leaders will join Kentucky Adjutant General Edward W. Tonini in Morehead next week to name a Kentucky highway in memory of a Rowan County native and member of the United States Air Force with 12 years of service who died last year while serving in Afghanistan.

    July 25, 2014

  • Package liquor sales begin in Grayson

    It took more than a year, an investment of about $750,000, and a lot of paperwork but packaged liquor went on sale last Thursday in Grayson.
    Grayson Beverage Center received its license last Tuesday and was able to begin sales as soon as the shelves were stocked.

    July 25, 2014

  • Lemonade stand is paying off of 12-year-old

    During most of the past week, drivers traveling down 13th Street have been seeing a young man selling lemonade on the side of the road for 75 cents a cup.
    That would be Lucas Gillum, a kid who has a heart for helping others.

    July 25, 2014

  • 0726FairFri0306.jpg Friday fantastic day for fair activities

    Among the many smiling faces along the midway at the Boyd County Fair Friday evening, Jesse Cline’s excited grin stood out in the crowd as he prepared to perform for his home-county crowd.
    “I go to Idol Wednesday,” said Cline, who made it to Hollywood during last year’s season of American Idol.

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • Manchin being sued by brother for $1.7M

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III faces a $1.7 million civil suit filed by a brother over a lifeline to save a family carpet business in the late 1980s.

    July 25, 2014

  • Good deed done: ReStore returns cash to owner

    Staff of Huntington WV Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore recently discovered a large sum of money in a donated piece of furniture.

    July 25, 2014

  • Highway to be named for late airman from Morehead

    State leaders will join Kentucky Adjutant General Edward W. Tonini in Morehead next week to name a Kentucky highway in memory of a Rowan County native and member of the United States Air Force with 12 years of service who died last year while serving in Afghanistan.S

    July 25, 2014

  • Food vendor charged in slaying back to selling

    A Louisville hot dog vendor who is free on bond after being charged with murder in a suspected case of road rage has returned to selling hot dogs at his long-time perch in front of the courthouse.

    July 25, 2014

  • 2 charged with punishing child with hot sauce

    Two people have been charged with criminal abuse after police say they force fed hot sauce and vinegar to a 4-year-old girl on several occasions.

    July 25, 2014