Coastal Chemical sued for hiring negligent driver

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Mar. 6, 2008, 4:31am

MARSHALL -- While traveling with children down Highway 31 near Kilgore, Michael Reddock alleges a tractor-trailer violently rear-ended him, pushing his vehicle into oncoming lanes of traffic and causing him to collide into another vehicle.

Reddock believes the 18-wheeler's driver, Billy DeWayne Pinke, failed to exercise ordinary care and control his speed, thus causing his and the children's injuries. Reddock states Pinke was in the scope of his employment with Coastal Chemical, making the company responsible for the driver's actions under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

Reddock and Elizabeth Nano, individually and on behalf of her two children, filed suit against Coastal Chemical Company on March 4 in the Marshall division of the Eastern District of Texas.

The suit states the tractor-trailer's driver violated laws and ordinances alleging he negligently failed to control his speed, keep a proper lookout, timely apply his brakes, and failed to take proper evasive action to avoid a collision.

The plaintiffs are seeking exemplary damages, arguing Coastal Chemical completed gross negligence with the hiring of this driver and argue the driver had a "very poor criminal and driving history."

The suit seeks more than $100,000 for each plaintiff and additional damages for physical pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, lost wage earning capacity, physical impairment and disfigurement.

Longview attorney G. R. (Randy) Akin and Tyler attorney Keith Miller are representing the plaintiff in their allegations.

Operating since 1958, Coastal Chemical delivers a broad range of chemical and services to the energy industry such as production of well stimulators, pipeline cleaning service and offering acid gas treating. The company has nine Texas office and distribution centers, with its corporate office located in Kilgore.

Judge T. John Ward will preside over the litigation.

Case No: 2:08cv00094

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