Suit: Injured delivery driver says ExxonMobil worker turned on conveyer prematurely

David Yates Mar. 10, 2008, 9:00am

Vuk Vujasinovic

A routine drop-off at an ExxonMobil plant went sour for the delivery man after one of the oil company's employees switched on a conveyor belt while the man was unloading cargo.

Joel Jones says his foot was caught in the conveyer belt when the ExxonMobil worker allegedly flipped the "on" switch prematurely.

Jones is claiming ExxonMobil negligently caused his injuries and filed suit against the company in the Jefferson County District Court on March 7.

He is seeking punitive damages.

According to the plaintiff's petition, on Feb. 11, 2007, Jones "sustained severe personal injuries" when he was making a delivery at the ExxonMobil Lubricants & Petroleum Specialties plant in Beaumont.

"The negligence of Defendant was a proximate cause of the incident and Plaintiff's resulting damages," the suit said. "Defendant is legally responsible to Plaintiff for the negligent conduct of its employee under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior."

Respondeat superior is Latin for "let the master answer."

The suit continues by alleging ExxonMobil negligently failed to properly screen, hire, train and monitor its employee.

"Defendant failed to provide the proper training and instruction to its employee that would have provided him with the proper skills and knowledge to operate the conveyor system which forms the basis of this lawsuit," the suit said. "Defendant's failure in this regard was a proximate cause of the accident and Plaintiff's resulting injuries and damages."

In his suit, Jones alleges ExxonMobil maliciously allowed the incident to occur, entitling him to punitive damages.

Jones is also suing for past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, impairment, lost wages and loss of enjoyment of life.

He is represented by Vuk Vujasinovic of the Vujasinovic and Beckcom law firm in Houston.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E181-404

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