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another reason to quit smoking

14 December 2003
NSXPO '05, '10 & '15

Smoker sues after portable toilet explodes
By The Associated Press

Thursday, June 2, 2005

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- A Pennsylvania man injured when a portable toilet exploded is suing a general contractor and a coal company for negligence.

John Jenkins, 53, and his wife, Ramona Jenkins, 35, of Brave, Greene County, filed the lawsuit in Monongalia County Circuit Court on Tuesday. They are suing Chisler Inc., a general contractor from Fairview, and Eastern Associated Coal Corp. for $10 million in damages.

The explosion occurred July 13, 2004, at Parrish Shaft in Blacksville. Jenkins, a North West Fuels Development Inc. methane power plant operator, entered a portable toilet, sat down and tried to light a cigarette.

"When I struck the lighter, the whole thing just detonated -- the whole top blew off," John Jenkins said. "I can't tell you if it blew me out the door or if I jumped out."

The lawsuit says the cigarette ignited methane gas leaking from a pipe underneath the unit.

Eastern Associated Coal Corp. owns the property where the explosion occurred. Chisler Inc. ran over the pipelines with heavy equipment before the incident, causing the methane gas leak, Jenkins alleges.

The lawsuit also says there was no sign on the portable toilet warning that smoking, matches and open flames were forbidden.

Jenkins had severe burns on his face, neck, arms, torso and legs. He is permanently disfigured, the lawsuit says.

Eastern Associated Coal is a subsidiary of Peabody Energy. A call to that company's Charleston office was not immediately returned today. A man who answered the phone at Chisler's office in Fairview said he was familiar with the lawsuit and the company would have no comment. He would not give his name.
Sounds like something Johhny Knoxville would have tried. I feel bad for the guy, but I can't help laughing. Like when you see someone get hit in the cahonies, you feel bad, but it is still funny, and glad it wasn't you.
It's sad, but he'll probably win. As stupid as he is for lighting a cigarette in a porta-john, he can probably still place sufficient blame on the contracting company :(