Newspapers in dispute over loading dock injury

David Yates Jan. 21, 2008, 6:23am

The Examiner's circulation director has filed a personal injury suit against The Daily Advertiser, claiming he injured his back while catching some newspapers that were falling off The Daily Advertiser's truck.

Paul Brown's suit against Gannett River States Publishing Corp. (The Daily Advertiser) was filed in the Jefferson County District Court on Jan. 16.

According to the plaintiff's petition, Brown was injured on Aug. 11, 2006, while working as the circulation director for The Examiner, a weekly newspaper published in Beaumont. The Daily Advertiser provided newspapers to The Examiner once a week.

"Plaintiff alleges that on the occasion in question, the Defendant had rented a Ryder box truck," the suit said. "Plaintiff alleges that the rented Ryder truck did not have a sufficient sized 'lift gate' from which to unload the newspapers from the cargo area of the box truck�(and) the pallets on which the newspapers were contained, extended over the lift gate.

"Put another way, the lift gate was too small for the pallets in question. In fact, Plaintiff alleges that at least one-half of the pallets were hanging off of the lift gate. The Plaintiff attempted to hold one of the pallets on the lift gate, but the pallet began to fall. Plaintiff alleges that he severely injured his back as a result�"

The suit continues by alleging that The Daily Advertiser committed the following acts of negligence:
- Failing to properly provide a suitable delivery truck to make the deliveries;
- By providing a delivery truck that did not have an adequate "lift gate" of sufficient size of which to make the deliveries;
- Failing to warn the Plaintiff that the delivery truck in question did not have an adequate lift gate of which to make the deliveries;
- And in failing to provide other means of unloading the newspapers in question on the date of the incident, which would have been a safer alternative.

"As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant's negligence, the Plaintiff has suffered serious, disabling, and disfiguring injuries," the suit said. "In addition, he has suffered severe pain, suffering, mental anguish, and physical impairment. Plaintiff seeks a recovery for said categories of damages in an amount to be determined by the trier of fact, but which is within the minimum jurisdictional requirements of this Court."

Brown is also suing for lost wages and medical expenses.

He is represented by attorney Tommy Yeates of the Moore Landrey law firm.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B181-028

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