"The accident shattered all my inner eardrums. I had no vision in my right eye," Monica Watts said. "I still have a long way to go. But it is amazing how far I have come working out."
The lawsuit asks for $5 million in damages and a jury trial. Watts' health bills already exceed $1 million, according to Letitia Chafin, another of Watts' lawyers.
The lawsuit also states that Watts suffered "severe and permanent injuries" to her head, neck, back, spine, legs and arms. She has already had several surgeries and will require additional surgical procedures in the future, the lawsuit states.
Sections of W.Va. 2, the lawsuit states, had been deteriorating "over the course of a number of years."
By the time of the accident, W.Va. 2 "consisted of uneven pavement due, in part, to the road surface having slipped and settled ... due to the instability of the soil and earth surface below supporting and providing the foundation of the highway."
CSX, which bought the property near Huntington from the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Co., possesses a "right-of-way easement" 35 feet in each direction from its active railroad tracks, according to the suit.
The lawsuit contends CSX "failed to notify the appropriate authorities at the West Virginia Department of Highways of the ever-deteriorating condition of the right-of-way [and] of the open and obvious compromise of the guardrail safety barrier system."
As a result of slippages and the deterioration of the embankment, "the course of travel of [Watts'] motor vehicle was not impeded by the guardrail safety barrier system as initially designed and constructed," the lawsuit argues.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.