Truck driver sues produce company, port over electrical shock

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 7, 2009, 10:00am

GALVESTON – A Galveston County truck driver blames Del Monte Foods and the Port of Galveston for an incident in which he reportedly sustained a severe electric shock.

Augustino Molis filed a personal injury lawsuit against Del Monte, the Port of Galveston, the Galveston Wharves Board and the Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves in Galveston County District Court on Jan. 5.

He accuses the defendants of failing to properly exercise ordinary and reasonable care when he reported to Pier 16 in the Port of Galveston on Aug. 25 to pick up a refrigerated trailer.

"The defendants were negligent by failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to properly supervise the work, failing to have a safe work area, failing to have sufficiently trained personnel, failing to ensure that the trailers were properly maintained, and failing to make sure that the connections for the trailers were properly maintained," the suit argues.

Court papers say Molis attempted to unplug the trailer when a current from the piece of equipment shocked him.

"This shock caused severe injuries to the plaintiff's right hand, right arm, and other parts of his body, including severe burns and nerve damage," the original petition says.

In addition to negligence, the suit faults the defendants of premises liability given they are the alleged owner and operator of the site hosting the trailers.

"As such, the defendants were responsible for the safe upkeep and maintenance of the premises and trailers," it says. "The plaintiff was working on the defendants' premises with its knowledge, at its invitation, and for their mutual benefit.

"A condition on the premises posed an unreasonable risk of harm. The defendants knew or should have known of the condition."

Molis insists his injuries caused him pain and suffering, physical impairment and disfigurement, mental anguish, and a loss of enjoyment of life.

Consequently, Molis seeks actual and exemplary damages including but not limited to lost wages and medical bills.

He also requests a jury trial.

Galveston attorney Sean O'Rourke is representing the plaintiff, and the case has been assigned to Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner.

Case No. 09CV0011

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