MARIETTA - Opening statements in a civil suit related to a fatal 2007 explosion at AEP's Muskingum River power plant near Beverly are expected today in Washington County Common Pleas Court.
Jury selection in the trial, which is scheduled for two weeks, began Monday.
The explosion killed one man and injured nine others.
The suit is being brought by former AEP worker Drummand McLaughlin, 53, of Caldwell, who claims he sustained "permanent and debilitating injuries" in the blast.
The suit seeks unspecified damages and alleges AEP was aware, or should have been aware, of problems with a compressed hydrogen storage system that exploded during the transfer of the material from a tanker truck to the storage system.
The blast damaged a generation unit and tore a 160-foot-by-160-foot section of metal siding from the plant.
An AEP official contacted Monday said the company would not comment on the litigation.
Two panels, consisting of a total of 100 potential jurors, were called for the trial, with 57 showing up.
Common Pleas Court bailiff Renee Marshall said more and more jurors are failing to appear for service.
"We take into consideration it being summer and people going on vacation but this has been a problem all year," she said. "We used to average about 10 percent not showing up and now it is more like an average of 20 percent."
The trial is just one of several related to the explosion.
The family of Lewis Timmons, 61, of New Martinsville, the truck driver who was killed in the explosion, has filed suit, which is set to go to trial later this year.
Also, a case against the power company and the trucking company filed by former AEP worker Lawrence A. O'Linn of Beverly was recently settled, according to court documents.
O'Linn claimed he was working in an office building near the blast area when he suffered a ruptured disc in his back, cuts, bruises and emotional distress.
The details of the settlement were not made public.