This Just In: Recent civil filings in Jefferson County District Courts

Marilyn Tennissen Aug. 30, 2007, 7:25am

Aug. 22

Russell Gautreaux vs. Motiva Enterprises
PA � Steven Barkley, J � Bob Wortham
Coincidently, Russell Gautreaux, a tanker truck driver, was picking up a load of gasoline at the Port Arthur Motiva refinery when he slipped and fell on a patch of oil. He claims the ramp's non-skid surface he was walking on had "worn off" and was "contaminated with oil and other slippery substances from the loading docks." Gautreaux is suing Motiva Enterprises for failing to keep the gasoline loading area's ramp "clean of petroleum."
Case No. A179-864

Aug. 23

Michael Scott Smith vs. Kansas City Southern Railway Co. et al
PA - John D. Sloan Jr., J - Donald Floyd
So what do you do when your boss tells you your back injury claim is "bogus" and calls you a "liar" in front of co-workers? In Michael Scott Smith's case, he sued his boss, Gary Adcock and employer, Kansas City Southern Railway Co. Smith claims he injured his back while using "a bar to open the door of a rail car." And when he reported his injury, Smith further claims his supervisor scoffed and scorned him, purposely humiliating him in front of his fellow railway workers, which spoiled his work relationships. Armed with the Federal Employer Liability Act, Smith is suing KCS Railway for keeping an "old" and "poorly maintained" ballast car with "hard to open" doors in service and Adcock for slander.
Case No. E179-872

Atrium Finance IV vs. Jefferson County Appraisal District
PA - Mark Hutcheson, J � Bob Wortham
Every year, thousands upon thousands of people and businesses complain or protest that their appraised property values exceed market values. Perhaps weary of ineffective protests, one local company, Atrium Finance IV, is going a step further and suing the Jefferson County Appraisal District, claiming their property's appraised value "is excessive and unlawful." On Aug. 23, Atrium Finance filed its suit with the Jefferson County District Court, hoping Judge Bob Wortham, 58 th District Court, will "fix the property's appraised value in accordance with the law."
Case No. A179-873

Aug. 24

Derrick Wayne Fowler vs. city of Beaumont et al
PA - Jonathan Bell, J � Bob Wortham
Many people fantasize suing their employer over not receiving a much deserved raise � but one of Beaumont's finest made it a reality. Police officer Derrick Wayne Fowler filed suit against the city of Beaumont and the Civil Service Commission, claiming his supervisors and the union president wrongfully orally altered a 2001 contract without informing him and mishandled an examination, which if done correctly � would have promoted Fowler to police sergeant, grade II. Flower filed his suit with the Jefferson County District Court on Aug. 24, hoping to obtain a Writ of Mandamus from the court ordering the Commission to conduct a "lawful and contractual" examination, "and to make him whole again with back pay and benefits."
Case No. A179-888

Lot Inc. vs. Tuan Van Tran
PA � Allen Parker, J - Milton Shuffield
A docking rendezvous ended badly when a Houstonian's vessel collided with the Pleasure Island Shrimp House. Lot Inc., owners of Pleasure Island Shrimp, is suing Tuan Van Tran for crashing his vessel the Diane I into its restaurant's docks. The company is suing for economic damages.
Case No. D179-892

Aug. 28

Elsie Williams vs. AO Smith Corp. et al
PA � Bryan Blevins, J � Gary Sanderson
A brick layer for most of his life, Wayne Williams sued and received a claim for his asbestos-related disease. Now deceased, Williams' benefactor is suing for a "different malignant asbestos-related injury." Williams had a 60 � 80 pack-year smoking history and died of lung cancer. Attorney Bryan Blevins of Provost Umphrey filed the lawsuit on behalf of Elsie Williams against the A.O. Smith Corp. and 49 other corporations, claiming the companies knowingly and maliciously manufactured and distributed asbestos-containing products throughout Jefferson County.
Case No. B179-915

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