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St. Albans woman filed a lawsuit after near electrocution by dock

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A St. Albans woman filed a lawsuit against Lou Wendell Marine after she was nearly electrocuted in the water near his dock.

The lawsuit filed by Barbara Russell in Kanawha Circuit Court said when Russell climbed down a ladder from a boat to cool off in the Kanawha River, she was shocked by a live current.

The lawsuit also names James Carriger, who owns the boat Russell was in. According to Russell's complaint, the current was in the water because of "an electrical issue with Defendant Carrier's boat or a deficient electrical system on Defendant Lou Wendell's dock or both."

Russell sank below the surface of the water and was under for about 90 seconds before she was rescued, the lawsuit claims.

After she was pulled from the water, "her body was limp and lifeless. Additionally, she was disoriented with very shallow breathing when she was treated at the scene," according to the complaint.

After the incident, an electrician visited the marina, the suit stated, and discovered various violations of state laws and electrical codes.

Russell was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, post-trauma insomnia and electrocution, the lawsuit stated.

The marina in St. Albans has 150 docking slips and is the largest marine dealer in the state, according to the website. Marina owner Lou Wendell was not available for comment Thursday.

The case, filed last month, has been assigned to Circuit Judge Duke Bloom.


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