Refinery worker claims assault through exposure to chemicals

David Yates Apr. 8, 2008, 7:48am

A gas tank cleaner is alleging Motiva's managers "assaulted" him by exposing him to "dangerous chemicals and compounds."

Curtis Seymore, an Ab Cleaning employee, filed suit against Motiva Enterprises LLC on April 7 in the Jefferson County District Court, claiming the oil giant failed to warn him that the chemicals he was cleaning were toxic.

According to Seymore's suit, during February 2008, he was "excessively exposed to dangerous chemicals while "cleaning out tanks at Motiva or Shell's facility in Port Arthur." Seymore's employer, Ab Cleaning, was supervised by a Motiva manager.

"(Seymore) has suffered serious fatigue and injuries to his lungs, heart, sight, head, and other parts of his body," the suit said. "He has passed blood for the last few months and has had spells of fainting."

"Defendant breached its duty of care to Plaintiff by failing to adequately warn him of the condition and by failing to make the unreasonably dangerous conditions reasonably safe, which resulted in Plaintiff's injuries," the suit said.

"Moreover, Defendant is responsible for its managers' assault on Plaintiff. Upon being informed of the excessive and dangerous chemicals present, Defendant's managers … intentionally ordered the Plaintiff to continue working in such dangerous conditions without proper safety gear."

Seymore's suit continues by alleging Motiva negligently failed to properly train and supervise its employees, warn him of the dangerous condition, and failed to store, handle and transport hydrogen sulfide and other chemicals in a reasonably proper manner.

As a result of his alleged exposure, Seymore claims he has suffered permanent brain damage.

He is suing for exemplary damages and court costs, plus past and future pain, mental anguish, impairment, lost wages and medical expenses.

Seymore is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by Kurt Arnold of the Arnold & Itkin law firm.

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

Case No. B181-558

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