By David Hedges, Publisher
Times Record-Roane County Reporter

Settlements have been made in two wrongful death cases pending in Roane County, including one involving a natural gas field worker who died on the job.

The other case involved a Reedy woman who perished in an auto accident following a collision with a car operated by a teenager.

Christopher Paul Raines, 43, of Walton was foreman of a gas field in Clay County when he was found dead near a gas line in February 2004.

According to court records in a wrongful death suit filed against Triad Energy Corp., Raines was foreman of an operation in the Ovapa area when he went alone to repair a leaking transmission line.

Raines allegedly used a backhoe to dig a trench several feet deep, then entered the trench to make the repairs. He allegedly was overcome by methane, lost consciousness and died.

The state Public Service Commission investigated and issued a notice of violation to Triad for failure to have operator qualification programs in place.

Triad eventually submitted the plans, before abandoning the line completely, court records indicate.

In its defense, Triad said Raines had ignored the "buddy system" in place when he declined help from others and went to repair the gas leak by himself.

His widow, Lisa Raines of Walton, filed a claim with the W.Va. Workers Compensation system that will provide surviving spouse's benefits that will amount to $469,475, according to records in the suit filed against Triad in 2006.

Mountaineer Gas was also named as a defendant but that company was dismissed from the suit.

Earlier this month Triad agreed to pay a settlement of $900,000 in the case ...

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