Huntsman dismissed from railroad worker's FELA suit

David Yates Jul. 16, 2008, 10:54am

Perry Ashworth's leg was mutilated and severed below the knee last year when the rail car he was working on at the Huntsman Refinery rolled over him.

As reported by the Southeast Texas Record in July 2007, Ashworth and his wife Bambi sued his employer Railserve Inc., Rescar Inc. and Huntsman Petrochemical Corp.

Railserve provides contract in-plant rail service; Rescar provides mechanical repair, exterior painting, interior coating and cleaning to rail cars.

Ashworth in his lawsuit claims he set the rail car's manual break but it rolled back anyway.

On July 15, Judge Donald Floyd of the 172nd Judicial District granted Huntsman's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the petrochemical company from the Ashworths' lawsuit.

Court documents show Huntsman agreed to provide workers' compensation coverage for Railserve employees. After Ashworth was injured April 10, 2007, he received $291,658.34 in worker's comp benefits.

Since Ashworth already received benefits for his injury from Huntsman, the company moved for dismissal under Texas civil law.

The plaintiffs' original petition said Ashworth was working to rearrange the rail cars so that they could be spotted when he engaged the manual break and started to uncouple the end rail car.

However, in court documents Ashworth says the rail car rolled and entangled his right leg, which was severed below the knee.

Ashworth is still pursuing a Federal Employers' Liability Act claim against his employer, Railserve, on allegations it failed to provide him a safe place to work and failed to comply with government regulations.

Ashworth's suit also faults Rescar for failing to maintain the brakes on the rail car.

He is suing for past and future medical expenses, physical pain, impairment, disfigurement, and mental anguish.

Ashworth's wife is suing for loss of consortium.

The plaintiffs are represented by the attorney Tommy Yeates of the Moore, Landrey law firm.

Case No. E179-635

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