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Woman sues planing mill in husband's death

April 10, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

The wife of a man who died in 2001 after fencing materials fell on him has filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the planing mill where the man was fatally injured.

Max A. Fogle, who was 51, had gone to the Hicksville Planing Mill at 14464 Hicksville Road near Clear Spring early on July 3, 2001, to pick up several wooden fence sections, according to police accounts at the time.

As Fogle, who lived in Hagerstown, was loading the fence sections into a truck, eight pieces that had been leaning against a wall fell on him, police said. He died later at Washington County Hospital.

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In the lawsuit, Cathy Fogle, who now lives in South Dakota, alleges the mill "negligently failed to store its materials for sale in a safe manner whereby they would not pose a risk of serious physical injury and death."

Robert L. Miller, 42, owner of the mill, said Wednesday "this is all a surprise to me."

"I felt really bad that it happened," Miller said, but "despite ... our best efforts, sometimes accidents do happen." He said he did not want to comment further.

Acting as the representative to her husband's estate, Cathy Fogle is seeking $750,000 from Hicksville Planing, claiming her husband suffered emotionally and physically before he died.

Cathy Fogle also alleges in the suit that Hicksville's negligence caused her husband's wrongful death. That caused her to lose income as well as suffer emotional pain and other problems associated with losing a spouse.

For the wrongful death claim, Cathy Fogle is seeking $750,000.

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