CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Cabell County woman alleges in a recent lawsuit that a railroad company failed to maintain an embankment along a state road, which led to an accident that seriously injured her.
Monica Renee Watts, 26, filed the lawsuit last month against CSX Transportation Inc., which owns CSX Railroad, in Cabell Circuit Court.
Her suit alleges CSX failed to maintain an embankment along W.Va. 2, which slipped and "compromised the integrity of the guardrail safety barrier."
When Watts was driving her 1998 Jeep Cherokee home late in the evening on Aug. 11, 2011, her vehicle plunged over the guardrail down a steep embankment onto the CSX railroad tracks below W.Va. 2, according to the suit.
W. Stephen Flesher, Watts' lawyer in Huntington, said Watts' vehicle "flipped down the embankment and ended up close to the Ohio River. She laid there, unconscious, for six hours. In the early morning, when a truck driver saw her and found her, she was unconscious."
The lawsuit, Flesher said, argues CSX "negligently failed to maintain its right-of-way and that it had a duty to maintain its easement, free of nuisance or posing a foreseeable safety hazard to the public and Ms. Watts in particular."
Carla Groleau, communications director for CSX, headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., said Friday, "CSX has a policy of not commenting about ongoing litigation."
Mary Watts, Monica Watts' mother, said her daughter was unconscious for six weeks at Cabell Huntington Hospital. She was treated at Shepherd Spine Injury Rehab in Atlanta from November 2011 until January 2012, Mary Watts said.
"I never saw her out of a wheelchair until January [of this year]," Mary Watts said. "She has been up and walking ever since. She should be qualified to become a physical therapy assistant sometime soon."