Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

January 29, 2014

Woman sues over husband’s death

Wrongful death suit claims Honeywell’s safety boots failed

By Kenneth Hart - CNHI News Service

Jan. 29, 2014 — The widow of a man killed in an industrial accident in Carter County in 2012 has filed a wrongful-death suit against Honeywell International Inc. and two of its subsidiaries, claiming the company’s safety boots, which were supposed to protect her husband from electrocution, failed to do so.

Theresa A. Griffin’s suit, filed on behalf of the estate of her husband, Drue Robert Gay, was originally filed in October in Carter Circuit Court and later moved to U.S. District Court in Ashland.

In addition to Honeywell, the suit names as defendants Norcross Safety Products LLC and Honeywell Safety Products.

According to the suit, filed by attorney Robert W. Miller of Grayson, Gay was killed on Sept. 2, 2012, while working at the Smithfield Packing Co. plant in Grayson. While performing his duties, Gay was wearing a pair of “EH” certified safety boots manufactured by the defendants and represented to protection against electrical shock and “warranted to include protection against inadvertent electrical contact of at least 14,000 volts.”

Gay was killed when he received an accidental electrical shock of 480 volts, the suit states.

“The ‘EH’ certified safety boots ... failed to protect the decedent, even though the electrical voltage to which the decedent was exposed was well within the promised, expected and intended range of protection,” Miller wrote.

The suit alleges the boots were “defective and unsafe” and that Honeywell and its subsidiaries were negligent in their manufacture and design.

Griffin also claims the defendants committed negligence by failing to adequately warn her husband “of certain limitations of the protection” provided by the boots, and of “situations and factors which were known by the defendants to limit or lessen the protection” offered by them.

“The decedent’s death and resulting damages would have been avoided and would not have occurred had said safety boots served and functioned as warranted, intended and represented,” the suit states.

The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, court costs and attorney fees and a jury trial.

Honeywell and the subsidiaries deny wrongdoing in a response to the complaint.

KENNETH HART can be reached at or (606) 326-2654.