Boy’s hands hurt in electric gate, mother claims

CHARLESTON – A Logan County woman is suing over claims her minor son’s hands were crushed in an electric, sliding gate at the local high school.

Kala Russell, individually and as parent and natural guardian of Daylen Russell, a minor, filed a lawsuit Nov. 10 in Kanawha Circuit Court against the Board of Education of Logan County, the Logan County Commission and The Chamberlain Group Inc., citing negligence.

According to the complaint, Daylen Russell was participating in a minors’ football league practice at Logan High School on Aug. 1 when he sustained injuries. The complaint states Russell put his hand on the electric slide fence gate leading to the area where his practice was to take place, when somebody punched in the access code on the gate-opening keypad, which caused the industrial slide gate operator to engage and trap both of Daylen Russell’s hands between the gate and gate rollers, crushing his hands and fingers. Kala Russell says her son’s injuries included partial amputation.

Logan County’s school board and county commission are accused of negligence in failing to guard all crush points or post adequate warnings of the dangers, despite the knowledge that a similar incident happened to another minor two weeks prior. The Chamberlain Group, which designed and distributed the industrial slide gate operator, is accused of negligence and strict liability.

Kala Russell seeks damages including medical expenses, interest and costs.

She is represented by attorney Gregory B. Chiartas of Freeman & Chiartas in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis “Duke” Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1999