Jim Boyle Aug. 18, 2014, 8:09am


A Delaware County man says that his severe injuries after getting struck by a car

were caused by a contractor's lack of warning signs around the work area, according to a federal suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Charles Mathues, of Brookhaven, Pa., says that it was the responsibility of Metra Industries, Inc., headquartered in Little Falls, N.J., to adhere to state and local ordinances by placing a warning sign near the job site. He seeks compensatory damages on two counts of negligence against the contractor.

According to the complaint, in 2012 the Chester Water Authority in Delaware County tasked Metra Industries with performing work on a section of its water distribution system, including providing work zone safety for CWA employees such as Mathues.

On Aug. 15, 2012, the claim says, Mathues parked a work truck just off the road and out of the way of traffic on Kerlin Street, something he has done many times before. Mathues was standing in front of the vehicle looking at paperwork when another car rammed in to the back of the truck, which caused a chain reaction that ended with Mathues getting hit by the front of the truck and thrown into the air.

As a result of the impact, Mathues suffered an ACL tear in his right leg, contusions, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and emotional distress, the complaint says. Mathues has been forced to pay ongoing medical expenses for treatment of his injuries, according to the complaint. He has also been impaired from fulfilling his employment duties, negatively affecting his earning power.

The complaint says that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the incident and cited Metra Industries for failing to place a warning sign within two feet of the paved roadway. It also said it was Metra's responsibitility to provide proper safeguards for the employees' security.

The plaintiff is represented by Christopher Heavens of the Heavens Law Firm.

The federal case ID number is 2:14-cv-04772-GAM.

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