Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 27, 2012

Deck collapse results in lawsuit

Cases moved to U.S. District Court

ASHLAND — A 2010 patio deck collapse at an Ashland home that injured eight has resulted in the filing of a federal lawsuit.

The suit is actually a consolidation of two civil actions filed last year in Boyd Circuit Court. The cases were moved to U.S. District Court earlier this month, according to court records.

Defendants in the suit include John and Kelly Conley, the tenants in the rental home where the collapse occurred; the unknown builder of the deck and State Farm Insurance. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction, the City of Ashland Assisted Housing Authority and several city housing officials are named as third-party defendants.

The plaintiffs in the case James Johnson, Jeffrey Ellison, Rebecca Johnson, Julie Carter Killin, Mary Parks and Mark Westmoreland, all of who allege they suffered injuries in the Oct. 11, 2010, incident which occurred in the 2300 block of Moore Street.

The incident occurred about 5 p.m. According to the Ashland Police Department, the group was enjoying a cookout when the deck gave way.

The treated-lumber deck was positioned eight to 10 feet above the ground. Injuries suffered in the mishap ranged from minor to moderate and included abrasions and possible fractures, the APD said at the time.

 The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, who are represented by attorneys Garis Pruitt and David Latherow, allege the Conleys were negligent and contributed to the collapse by failing to conduct “reasonable inspections” that would have revealed support structure and construction flaws; failing to have “professional consultation” in the design and construction of the patio and failing to use “ordinary care for preventive periodic maintenance” of the structure.

The suit also maintains “negligent techniques and materials” were used in the construction of the deck, including wood that was improperly sealed, which caused it to rot and lose its lose-bearing strength and played a “significant part” in the failure of the structure.

“An ordinary inspection” by the Conleys would have revealed the shabby condition of the deck, which could and should have been remedied prior to the collapse, the suit states.

The plaintiffs also alleged HUD, along with the state and city housing agencies, failed to prevent the mishap by not conducting regular inspections of the property. U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey has filed a motion seeking to have HUD dismissed from the action.

The defendants are seeking compensatory damages for lost wages, medical expenses and physical and emotional pain an suffering, and punitive damages.

Claims made in civil lawsuits state only one side of an issue.

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

Text Only
Local News
  • Jesse Stuart Foundation celebrates 35 years

    The annual Jesse Stuart Foundation Open House from noon to 6 p.m. on Aug. 8 will be a huge celebration.

    July 28, 2014

  • 0729hagerman.jpg Hagerman talks law with Rotary

    At Monday’s lunchtime meeting of the Ashland Rotary Club, Boyd County Circuit Court Judge C. David Hagerman summed up current local legal trends — and how cases, courts and criminals have changed during his 20-plus year tenure.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue speaks during an interview in Salt Lake City

    Fish and houseguests both stink after three days — and much less time when a visitor pockets valuables without permission.

    July 28, 2014

  • 0728bank5.jpg Iconic Gate City bank torn down after partial collapse

    This weekend, Catlettsburg’s downtown silhouette lost one of its longest-lived landmarks.
    Demolition workers began to tear down one of the Gate City’s oldest downtown buildings following the former Catlettsburg National Bank’s partial collapse.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Study shows room for parking improvement

    It has been suggested that the parking layout along Winchester Avenue should change, bringing the city’s main thoroughfare down to two lanes.

    July 28, 2014

  • Anti-smoking tour kicks off in Ashland

    A scan in 2009 that was supposed to show doctors what was causing Deborah Cline’s eye problems by chance revealed the cancer in her lung.
    Two years later, Roger Cline watched his wife die of lung cancer. Deborah Cline was 59 and had never smoked.

    July 28, 2014

  • 0728bank5.jpg Gate City landmark demolished

    The historic Catlettsburg National Bank Building was being taken down after the front dormer window collapsed on Sunday.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • Local counties see drop in unemployment

    Boyd County was one of 117 counties that saw a decrease in its unemployment rate between June 2013 and June 2014.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726bigboy.JPG Big Boy to open Aug. 11

    The long-awaited Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant will open Aug. 11, and when it does it will be business as usual from day one: the eatery will open its doors to the early breakfast crowd at 6:30.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SOAR meeting at MSU Aug. 6

    Morehead State University and St. Claire Regional Medical Center will present Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers as part of a "Health Impact Series" under the new Shaping Our Appalachian Region initiative.

    July 27, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone