Kelly Holleran Mar. 13, 2013, 12:32pm

A safety watchman is suing the owners of a Granite City energy plant after allegedly being severely burned by chemicals while walking to a job site.

Thomas Dennis filed a lawsuit against Suncoke Energy on Feb. 27 in Madison County Circuit Court.
Dennis was employed by Code Red Safety and working as a safety watchman in April 2011, according to the complaint. He says he was paid to "provide a safety watch over personnel in confined spaces." Dennis says CRS entered into an agreement to perform that work at Suncoke Energy facilities.

On April 26, 2011, Dennis says he was working at the Suncoke plant in Granite City. He says he was assigned to monitor atmospheric conditions in different buildings on the property. Dennis says he was instructed to go into the building known as Herzog 1.

Dennis says on his way to the assigned work area he was forced to walk through a lime slurry dump. The safety watchman claims the area where the lime slurry was located was not marked as hazardous. He says the slurry caused "severe burns on both feet" and left him with permanent injuries.

Dennis contends Suncoke was negligent for allegedly failing to maintain a safe working environment and failing to warn workers about the hazards of the lime slurry dump "left unmarked, exposed and unguarded."

The watchman is asking to be awarded more than $150,000 in damages to compensate for medical expenses, permanent disability, lost wages, pain and suffering. He is also asking for court costs. Attorney Jason R. Caraway of Kolker Law Offices in Belleville is representing Dennis.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-314

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