On July 5, 2013, a strong West Virginia man kissed his fiancé for the last time. An hour later, while working at a Marcellus Shale gas well drilling operation in Doddridge County, W.Va., he was nearly burned alive by a flash fire and explosion. He was transported to the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh. After three weeks, the thirty-seven-year-old man died from a lung injury caused by thermal burns which deprived his brain of oxygen. While his father, was contacted by a number of personal injury lawyers – several that he knew well – he called Wilson, Frame and Metheney, a law firm that had been successful in lawsuits involving burns and the drilling industry. The victim’s father made the right call at the right time. Since it was within days of the explosion, the law firm’s investigators could gather crucial evidence that proved the working conditions were unsafe.
Because WF&M has represented a number of cases involving gas well explosions, extensive burns, inhalation burns and wrongful death, they knew where to start and what needed to be done to identify responsibility for the injuries and fatalities.
As a result of their investigation, the employer assumed responsibility for Jason’s death. WF&M secured financial security for Jason’s immediate family including his two daughters, 8, and 1; his fiance; his parents; and his brother.
*This has a video component and photos.
While a thirty-five-year-old West Virginia man endured the difficulties of living with cerebral palsy, he led a full, productive life and was employed full-time. In the summer of 2012, he was returning from a business meeting in Charleston. He was driving northbound on Interstate-79, when a truck changed lanes and ran over his small, white Hyundai. His car was dragged onto the shoulder and caught fire. He was pulled from the vehicle with severe burns and internal injuries from smoke inhalation. The badly burned man was air transported to Pittsburgh’s West Penn Burn Center where he spent three months recovering from his painful injuries. The truck that ran over his car carried a $1m insurance policy, small in comparison to the medical bills and lost wages he faced.
Wilson, Frame and Metheney searched beyond the trucking company’s $1m insurance policy and found that his employer also carried a $1m underinsured policy. Also, since the West Virginia man was driving for his job, the law firm obtained workers comp benefits to cover his medical expenses.
Wilson, Frame and Metheney took the case to the West Virginia Supreme Court to secure a $2 million settlement for their client, then protected the settlement by forcing Workers Compensation to cover his future medical bills.
*This is the car photo that is up in flames.
Brenda and Graham were returning to their home near Hamilton, Canada after a short vacation in Key West, Florida. Their drive took them through West Virginia in the afternoon of February 27, 2014. On I-79 north, just outside of Clarksburg, a wheel and tire assembly disengaged from a tanker trailer travelling south on I-79. The tire crossed the median and crashed through the windshield of the couple’s silver Volkswagen, crushing Graham’s face. Brenda has to crawl over her husband’s unconscious body to get control of the car. He was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital by helicopter where he diagnosed with fractured jaws, shattered cheekbones, a crushed skull and eye sockets. After a week in ICU, he was flown to a hospital close to his home in Canada for surgery and further treatment. Graham suffered severe and permanent brain damage, cognitive deficiency, as well as loss of vision, taste and smell. He subsequently developed a seizure disorder. He spent more than a month in the hospital and underwent a 10-hour surgery. Graham is unable to work, suffers seizures that could further impact his condition, and has lost short-term memory. Brenda did the right thing: she contacted a law firm in Canada for help. The Canadian law firm knew it was best to try the case where the accident occurred. They researched lawyers in West Virginia and, based on their experience with tragic traffic accidents, the Canadian law firm recommended Wilson, Frame & Metheney in Morgantown, W.Va.
Lawyers for Wilson, Frame & Metheney traveled to Canada. They spent several days with various experts to assess Graham’s damages and to prepare the case for trial.
WF&M secured a substantial settlement from the trucking company that provided financial security for the entire family. An education fund was established for the children, Jordan (16) and Lindsay (17). Brenda received compensation for her injuries and the trauma she witnessed. Graham received financial security to cover all medical therapies, living expenses, and lost income for the rest of his life.
*This has a video component