Wrongful death suit filed over man's exposure to poisonous gas

Kelly Holleran Jul. 23, 2009, 4:19am

The wife, mother and son of a man who died after being exposed to poisonous gas are suing the man's employer CES Environmental Services.

Elizabeth Sutter, Joey Sutter's wife; Shurand Edwards, his mother; and Matthew Garrett, his son; filed a lawsuit July 20 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the complaint, Joey Sutter was attempting to perform work for CES on a dome lid that contained a hazardous concentration of hydrogen sulfide on Dec. 18.

While working on the lid, Joey Sutter was asphyxiated and poisoned due to hydrogen sulfide inhalation, the complaint says.

Because of Joey Sutter's death, the plaintiffs say they suffered mental anguish, lost Joey Sutter's companionship and society and suffered pecuniary losses. In addition, Elizabeth Sutter and Shurand Edwards incurred funeral and burial expenses.

The complaint says CES failed to properly inspect the dome, failed to properly monitor the contents of the dome, failed to provide Joey Sutter with reasonably protective equipment, failed to properly oversee the work performed at the time of Joey Sutter's death and failed to maintain a safe workplace.

"Defendant breached the duty of ordinary care by exposing an unknowing Decedent Joey Sutter to the hazardous chemicals within the dome," the complaint says.

The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified judgment, including costs, interest and other relief to which they are entitled.

James E. Payne and Jennifer Job Seale of Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont will be representing them.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Jefferson County Circuit Court case number: A184-521.

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