Lockheed Martin sues security company after guard collides with missile launcher

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 24, 2008, 7:23am

EL DORADO, Ark. – While responding to an alarm in the Lockheed Martin's Camden, Ark., facility, security guard Keoshee Avery failed to stop at an intersection and collided into a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System vehicle causing an estimated $2.7 million in damages, court papers say.

The Lockheed Martin Corporation filed suit against the security guard's employer, U.S. Security Associates Inc., on Sept. 22 in the El Dorado Division of the Western District of Arkansas.

The collision occurred on Sept. 22, 2006, while the HIMARS vehicle was being driven on Lockheed Martin's test track. The vehicle was traveling at approximately 35 miles per hour.

Avery, an employee of U.S. Security Associates, received notice of an intrusion alarm at a building near the test track. According to court records, as she approached the intersection of the test track, she failed to stop at the stop sign that was equipped with a flashing red light.

The driver of the HIMARS vehicle attempted to avoid the security officer and swerved, but the HIMARS vehicle was impacted, causing it to roll over.

The lawsuit alleges the defendant is negligent for failing to exercise "reasonably prudent and ordinary care in driving its security vehicles." The complaint argues the defendant was negligent for failing to heed traffic signals, crossing the test track at a high rate of speed without stopping to look for oncoming vehicles, failure to yield, and failing to adequately, properly or safely supervise its employees.

Lockheed also alleges that U.S. Security Associates breached its express and implied warranty that it would carry out its security duties in a safe and law abiding manner.

In addition, Lockheed argues that the defendant did not perform its contractual obligations, as the contract required that U.S. Security Associates comply with all applicable laws, including traffic laws.

The plaintiff is represented by Floyd M. Thomas Jr. of the El Dorado, Ark., law firm of Compton, Prewett, Thomas and Hickey, LLP.

Jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes will preside over the litigation.

Case No 08cv001071

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