Two falls plus one backhoe injury equal one suit

David Yates Sep. 10, 2007, 11:34am

A former Turner Brothers worker has rolled three separate accidents into one lawsuit. John Ardoin is suing ISP Synthetic Elastomers, along with five other companies, for injuries he claims have left him crippled, partially deaf, blind in one eye and sexually impaired.

Ardoin and his wife Marilyn filed a personal injury lawsuit against ISP, Latch Oil, Latch Ventures, Mustang Tractor, Valero and Chevron with the Jefferson County District Court on Sept. 7.

According to the plaintiffs' original petition, three separate accidents caused "serious, indivisible injuries to Ardoin," two of which occurred at ISP's plant located in Port Neches, while the third incident occurred at Valero's plant in Port Arthur.

The suit says the first accident at ISP's plant occurred shortly after Hurricane Rita while Ardoin was employed by Turner Bros. as a carpenter and scaffold builder.

Ardoin was working on a scaffold near an R-50 unit when a leaky gasket began spewing latex, the suit said. He slipped and fell on the latex and tore his bi-lateral rotator cuff. Ardoin claims that Turner Bothers refused to pay for his medical bills.

"Plaintiff continued to work," the suit said. "On Feb. 1, 2006, he was working on a conveyor that loaded and unloaded carbon black onto railcars. (Ardoin) was attempting to tighten the conveyor (when he) slipped in the carbon black and latex ... re-injuring his left shoulder and also injuring his right knee."

As a result of the two accidents, the plaintiff says he was left with serious injuries to both shoulders and his right knee.

In the suit, Ardoin says he reported the accident to his employer, who promptly fired him.

Ardoin then went to work with Latch as a carpenter and operator, the suit said. On May 18, 2006, he was working at the Valero refinery, which had leased some tanks to Chevron. Latch was tearing out old tank pipes with a Mustang Tractor-owned backhoe.

"Ardoin needed a pin that was on the floor of the backhoe," the suit said. "When the operator got out of the seat, he hit one of the levers on the backhoe. That caused the backhoe itself to move. It moved very suddenly, due at least in part because of the hydraulic problems that the backhoe was suffering. The bucket of the backhoe struck Plaintiff on the left side of his head. It caused severe injuries to his body including severe aggravation of the pre-existing injuries to Plaintiff's left shoulder, right knee, and the remainder of his body."

"Plaintiff would show that the backhoe should never have been allowed to operate on Valero's property," the suit said. "Both Valero and Chevron violated their own policies and procedures with respect to inspection of equipment allowed to operate on their plant."

"Plaintiff would show that as a result of the three accidents, he has lost vision in his left eye; he has severe and significant injuries to his low back; he has no sexual ability; he cracked the ulna in his left arm; he re-injured his left shoulder and has since undergone two surgeries; he has a cracked spine; and he is deaf in his left ear," the suit said.

Ardoin is suing for past and future lost wages, impairment, pain, suffering, mental anguish and medical expenses. Ardoin's wife is suing for loss of consortium.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Steven Barkley.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, will preside over the case.

Case No. B179-966

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