Worker sues Total after breaking leg

Kelly Holleran Jan. 27, 2009, 6:00am

A Groves woman claims she broke her leg while working at a local refinery because her employer neglected to teach her proper safety procedures.

Court documents state Romona Ramour was working at the Total Petrochemicals refinery in Port Arthur as a pipe fitter helper on Jan. 28, 2007, when her safety harness caught her boot and caused her to swing in a circle, fall and break her left leg.

After the incident, Total took Ramour to the doctor for medical treatment on Jan. 30, 2007, the suit states.

In the suit she filed Jan. 20 in Jefferson County District Court, Ramour claims she was required to receive surgery on her left leg in July 2007.

She also incurred medical expenses, lost earnings and her earning capacity, experienced physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical disability and impairment, disfigurement and loss of household services, according to the complaint.

"The safety harness for the subject job were improperly provided by Defendants, in that Plaintiff was not provided with the proper size safety harness by the Defendants," the suit states. "Additionally, Plaintiff received inadequate and improper safety training and other general safety training from Defendants."

Total failed to exercise the degree of ordinary care of a reasonable business entity by failing to warn, by failing to adequately instruct, by failing to supervise and by failing to properly train, according to the complaint.

Both companies also failed to provide a safe place to work, failed to adequately inspect, failed to adequately maintain, failed to provide properly sized safety harnesses, failed to follow their own and government policies and procedures, failed to enforce their own policies and procedures and governmental regulations and failed to retain their right of control over the safety, the suit states.

Ramour claims Total Petrochemicals and Total Port Arthur failed to exercise the degree of ordinary care by failing to implement an adequate accident prevention program, by failing to eliminate the dangerous condition, by failing to provide safe equipment and by creating dangerous work conditions.

Ramour is seeking actual and exemplary damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief to which she is entitled.

She is represented by Gilbert T. Adams and Alto V. Watson III of the Law Offices of Gilbert T. Adams in Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd of the 172nd District Court.

Case No. E183-078

More News