Worker's suit alleges grinding machine was dangerous

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Aug. 19, 2008, 9:16am

GALVESTON – A La Marque man blames a Dallas-based company for failing to keep a watchful eye on him while he was working on an allegedly dangerous piece of equipment.

In a lawsuit filed in Galveston County District Court on Aug. 8, Clarence Franklin argues he sustained injuries from a grinding machine owned by AKZO Nobel that exploded during routine operation.

The incident occurred on or around May 31, the lawsuit says.

"At the time of the incident, plaintiff and another worker, Jackie Robinson, were grinding containers with a grinding machine owned by defendant. The grinding machine exploded," the complaint says.

The suit claims Franklin suffered injuries to his ears, neck, and shoulder, putting the blame on the impact of the explosion.

"Plaintiff's injuries are severe and debilitating," the complaint says.

Franklin was employed not by AKZO Nobel, but by Certified Custom Staffing, another company. Certified Custom Staffing was not named in the suit in any capacity.

AKZO Nobel is accused of negligence and gross negligence toward Franklin.

"Specifically, defendant failed to monitor the grinding machine, failed to maintain the grinding machine properly, failed to heed warning about the dangerous condition of the grinding machine, failed to supervise the work performed with the grinding machine, and allowed a dangerous condition to exist, knowingly or recklessly, without warning the workers," the suit charges.

It also evokes the writ of respondeat superior against AKZO Nobel, alleging the implementation of a tort.

"Plaintiff was injured as a result of a tort," the suit says.

Res ipsa loquitor, apparent agency, and premise liability round out the causes of action, each echoing the allegations of negligence and gross negligence.

According to the company Web site, Amsterdam-based AKZO Nobel is a global company producing paints and coatings and specialty chemicals.

"Our products can be found everywhere from the Beijing Olympic arenas and Sydney Harbor Bridge to, quite possibly, the house next door to you," the site states.

Franklin, who is represented by Houston attorney Chad Pinkerton, seeks exemplary and unliquidated damages. He requested for a jury trial.

Judge Lonnie Cox, 56th District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. 08CV0847

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