Wortham grants ExxonMobil motion to have plaintiff examined in injury case

David Yates Apr. 7, 2009, 10:40am


A Jefferson County judge has granted ExxonMobil's request to choose a doctor to examine a plaintiff who alleged he was injured by the company's negligence.

Last May, the Record reported that a Heatex Industries employee Jason Waguespack filed suit against ExxonMobil, claiming he was injured because the oil company failed "to utilize safety procedures."

In an April 7 hearing, the case's presiding judge, 58th District Judge Bob Wortham, granted ExxonMobil's motion to have Waguespack examined by a physician of its choosing in hopes of ascertaining the extent of his injuries.

"They wanted a doctor of their choosing, not an independent doctor … which is in the rules," Wortham told the Record during a phone interview.

Wortham added that he denied the oil giant's second motion which, if granted, would have mandated that Waguespack go to a vocal rehabilitation person – and individual whom Wortham called a "paid testifier."

"I looked in the rules and there is no provision for the motion," he said.

The case has been set for a preferential September trial.

Case history

Waguespack filed his suit May 13, 2008 in the Jefferson County District Court. Pneumatic Industries Services was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Waguespack's suit does not state how he was injured.

The document only states that on March 26, 2008, he was under the supervision of one or both of the defendants and was somehow permanently injured because the defendants failed to furnish a safe workplace.

"Plaintiff suffered serious … bodily injuries caused by a condition which defendants … knew or should have known existed," the suit says, adding that the defendants should have inspected and remedied the dangerous condition.

However, the suit does state that Waguespack received worker's compensation benefits.

He is suing for past and future pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, lost earnings and impairment.

Waguespack is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by attorney Adam Terrell of the Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell law firm.

Case No. A181-740

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