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March 23, 2013

AK Steel, Others Sued in Death Of Shaun Sheldon; Suit says worker was pulled into conveyor belt;



ASHLAND—On March 6, 2012, Shaun Shelton was working at the Stein, Inc. processing plant at Armco Road in Ashland and—according to a lawsuit filed recently on behalf of his estate by his widow/Administrator, Sheena Shelton—he “was attempting to remove a piece of material from a conveyor belt and/or shaker assembly when the machine started” and, according to the complaint filed in the Boyd Circuit Court, “Shaun Shelton was pulled into the conveyor and/or shaker and was crushed between the conveyor and another piece of metal.”

Named as defendants, in the suit filed by Kyle Salyer of Kirk Law Firm, were AK Steel Corporation, AK Steel Holding Corporation, and various Unknown Defendant Manufacturers, Installers, Distributors and Maintainers.

According to allegations in the lawsuit, Mr. Shelton’s death was caused by the alleged negligence of one or more parties.

Among other allegations, it is claimed that “the Conveyor Belt was defectively designed” and that “it should not have been on the market.”

The conveyor belt was, the suit alleges, “defective in that it did not have readily available safety features, specifically a device which guarded against someone being pulled into the belt.” Another alleged conveyor belt defect stated that “it (conveyor belt) did not have  .  .  .  a device which would have let Shaun Shelton stop the machine.”

Following the accident, “AK Steel  .  .  .  prevented paramedics from coming onto the property in response to Shaun Shelton’s accident,” the lawsuit further alleges, “and this lack of aid caused or contributed to Shaun Shelton’s death,” the suit says. The various actions of the several defendants constitute “gross negligence,” according to the complaint, and, it is alleged, “plaintiffs are entitled to punitive damages.”

As a result of the death of Mr. Shelton, his minor son, Davan Shelton, “has suffered the loss of his father’s love and affection and will continue to suffer such loss through what would have been his age of majority and beyond, Sheena Shelton has suffered the loss of services, assistance, aid, society, companionship and the conjugal relationship between husband and wife,” and “his Estate has suffered the destruction of his power to earn money,” the lawsuit claims.

The complaint requests a jury trial and “compensatory damages for the funeral and burial, for the destruction of the loss of power to labor and earn money, for any and all medical bills and for conscious pain and suffering.” Sheena Shelton seeks “compensatory damages for her loss of services, assistance, aid, society, companionship and conjugal relationship between husband and wife.” Mrs. Shelton also seeks “compensatory damages as Davan has suffered the loss of his father’s love and affection.”

In an unusual demand, the lawsuit demands “Punitive Damages against the defendants for their willful and/or reckless actions.”

“This is a very, very sad situation,” John Kirk said. “The loss of Mrs. Shelton’s husband and Davan’s father in such a tragic way is heartbreaking. All of us wish we could do more.”

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