Injury case against DuPont reinstated after clerical error

David Yates Aug. 12, 2009, 6:00am

A local judge has reinstated a personal injury lawsuit against DuPont after a different local judge dismissed it last month.

Sitting in for Judge Donald Floyd who is on vacation, Judge Bob Wortham reinstated the two-year-old suit Wednesday, Aug. 2. The defense offered no objections to plaintiff's motion to reinstate.

Plaintiff Dariel Jones is seeking damages for injuries he sustained when he stepped into a gas-filled hole and suffered second- and third-degree burns to his leg and foot.

As the Southeast Texas Record previously reported, he filed a suit against Dupont North America for negligently "failing to adequately warn him of the condition" in Jefferson County District Court on Oct. 25, 2007.

According to his petition, on Sept. 11, 2006, Jones was installing a valve on DuPont's premises when he stepped into a hole created by leaks in a condensate line.

"The plaintiff sustained second degree burns to his right leg and third degree burns to his foot," the suit states. "The hole was an unreasonably dangerous condition, which defendant�should have known of, and had a duty to warn the plaintiff."

On July 17, Judge Floyd dismissed the case for want of prosecution. He wrote in his order that the case had been placed on the try or dismiss docket for July and the counsel of record failed to announce that they were ready for trial.

At the hearing, plaintiff's attorney Ryan Scott, an attorney for Brent Coon & Assoc., said the notice had been sent to the wrong law firm.

The defense, represented locally by M.C. Carrington of Mehaffy Weber, did not object to his clerical oversight argument and conceded that DuPont had "no grounds" to argue against the suit's reinstatement.

Jones is suing for past and future medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish and impairment.

Case No. E180-590

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