NEW LEXINGTON – A commercial truck driver from Athens, Ohio is suing Pike Township in Perry County over a 2019 vehicular accident he claims was caused by the negligence of a township tractor driver.
Kamryn E. Hamilton filed his legal complaint on July 16 in Perry County Common Pleas Court. In it, he recounts that on July 22, 2019, he was driving a commercial truck for his employer, an Athens-based transport company, and traveling southbound on Pike Township Road 223.
As Hamilton negotiated a left-hand curve, the lawsuit says, “he was suddenly confronted with a tractor” heading in the opposite direction, operated by Phillip Allen and owned by the Pike Township Board of Trustees. The tractor was pulling a wide drag device, which according to the complaint blocked Hamilton’s lane.
In an attempt to avoid hitting the tractor and its drag equipment, the complaint says, Hamilton put on the brake and moved as far right as he could. “The right edge of the roadway began to give way, causing the truck to leave the roadway, slide down an embankment, and roll over into a ravine,” the lawsuit alleges.
The suit accuses Allen of negligence for blocking the roadway and failing to post warning signs or flaggers to alert motorists to the fact that roadwork was underway ahead around a blind curve.
Hamilton says he suffered serious injuries in the accident that have caused him to run up medical expenses, and that he expects to continue to have medical bills related to these injuries. They have also caused him to lose wages and employment benefits, he says, and inflicted “a permanent impairment of his earning capacity.”
In addition to Allen, Hamilton names the Pike Township trustees as defendant, based on their liability for Allen’s actions as an employee of the township. He asks for at least $25,000 in compensatory damages, plus costs, interest and attorney fees.
He also names as a defendant the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, from which he is receiving benefits related to his accident. The lawsuit notes that the state agency may claim to be subrogated to Hamilton’s claims against Allen and the township – essentially meaning it would be entitled to substitute for him in a settlement. Hamilton’s lawsuit asks that the Bureau either present and prove such a subrogation claim, or be barred from asserting one.
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