Injury suit blames collision on construction company driver

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 19, 2008, 2:00am

GALVESTON � David W. Cheatwood had just purchased his 2008 Chevrolet Malibu when he got into a wreck with an employee of a Michigan construction company on one of Galveston County's busiest roads.

The Galveston County resident claims the Sept. 20, 2007, collision severely injured him and is suing Xtreme Powerline Construction Inc. in Galveston County District Court.

Cheatwood claims in the personal injury suit that the wreck occurred because a truck owned by the defendant ran a red light near FM 1764 and Interstate 45 in La Marque.

"Defendant's vehicle was traveling southbound on Interstate 45's feeder road. Unfortunately, the vehicle driven by the defendant's employee, Christopher Cook, failed to follow the traffic light at the intersection of IH 45 and FM 1764, and proceeded into the intersection against the red light. Defendant's truck struck and T-boned the plaintiff's vehicle," court papers say.

The suit, which was filed on Nov. 12, alleges Cheatwood sustained multiple injuries to various regions of his body.

"As a result of the collision, plaintiff suffered injuries to his neck, low back, hip, and other parts of his body," it says.

The complaint faults Cook for failing to observe traffic rules, alleging the driver operated the truck in a careless manner.

"(Christopher) Cook had a duty to exercise ordinary care and operate the vehicle reasonably and prudently," it says. "His negligence was a proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries."

Cook is accused of the following acts including but not limited to:

  • Failing to timely apply the brakes;
  • Failing to maintain a proper lookout;
  • Failing to maintain a proper speed;
  • Failing to turn to avoid a collision; and
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way.

    The suit also blames Xtreme Powerline Construction's hiring and retention of Cook, invoking the writ of respondeat superior.

    "Defendant was negligent in entrusting its vehicle to Christopher Cook in that defendant knew or should have known that he was an unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless driver," it says.

    Cheatwood, who is represented by Galveston attorney Sean E. O'Rourke, seeks unliquidated and punitive damages. He also demands a jury trial.

    Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

    Case No. 08CV141

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