Putnam County, West Virginia

Located between the Huntington, West Virginia and Charleston, West Virginia metropolitan areas, Putnam County has recently experienced massive population growth. It is the second fastest growing region in West Virginia. Putnam County is also home to Winfield Locks and Dam which was built in 1937 on the Kanawha River in the county seat of Winfield. The Dam is operated by the Kanawha Valley Power Company. It provides hydroelectric power to cities in the area, including: Bancroft, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Poca, and of course Winfield. The Winfield Locks and Dam also support several recreation areas, including a visitor’s center, observation areas, habitat ponds and over 1 1/2 miles of fishing access.

A myriad of river related or river dependent businesses such as Amherst Industries, Inc., Kanawha Manufacturing Co., DuPont, West Virginia Paving Co., Arrow Concrete, Catalyst Refiners, Appalachian Electric Power and Claxson Smith & Sons Concrete have developed on or near the river in Putnam County. Putnam County is blessed with a work force that is experienced in occupations related to the river. Businesses depend on the skill, knowledge and dedication of Putnam County’s river workers. Unfortunately, working on the river and adjacent docks is dangerous. The nature of the work and frequent harsh weather conditions contribute to river men suffering severe injuries. As pilots, engineers and deckhands can attest, employment on the river requires extremely difficult labor. Dock workers must load and unload heavy cargo. Deckhands handle heavy wires, ratchets and lines. Mates help build tow. Pilots navigate difficult locks (especially on the Kanawha River). Longshoremen perform maintenance work at docks up and down the Kanawha River.

As a result of these difficult conditions, deckhands and river workers in general are at an increased risk of harm. Employees who work for businesses on the Kanawha River or other navigable waterways in the Midwest suffer injuries such as herniated discs, ligament tears to the knee, shoulder impingements, carpal tunnel, crush injuries, amputations and hearing loss with great regularity. These injured workers require the services of an attorney who has an understanding of the unique qualities of Admiralty and General Maritime law, the Jones Act and Longshore Act.

Steven Schletker is licensed in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. He is an experienced admiralty attorney who focuses on representation of Jones Act seamen, deckhands, engineers, mates, tow boat crew members and Longshoremen injured on the Kanawha and other inland waterways, docks and ports. He has represented numerous injured workers along the Ohio River and its tributaries, such as the Kanawha River, as well as ports on the Great Lakes.

Injured workers should protect themselves by contacting an experienced attorney who practices Jones Act, General Maritime Law and Longshore cases in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Your initial consultation with Steven Schletker is free. There are no upfront costs or fees. A retainer payment is not required. Steven Schletker receives payment only when he successfully prosecutes your case.