Refinery worker claims he was injured helping coworker escape explosion

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 12, 2010, 10:00am

GALVESTON - An employee at the Valero refinery in Texas City is suing the company over injuries he allegedly sustained helping another employee escape from the area when a boiler exploded.

Timothy Garcia claims that on the night of Dec. 5, 2009, the "ear-splitting" blast in question shook several houses in the area and hurt many people including himself.

Garcia's suit was filed May 4 in Galveston County District Court against the San Antonio-based oil and gas refining and retail company.

The plaintiff claims he was in an elevator about 30 yards from the reported source of the explosion.

"The impact of the blast shook the elevator," the suit says.

Garcia states that he and his co-workers ran out of the elevator as soon as it opened. One fell, and the plaintiff subsequently helped him up.

"In the ensuing chaos, while he was running, the plaintiff grabbed his co-worker by the coveralls and pulled him up from the floor causing injury to his back and shoulder," the original petition says.

Garcia insists the ordeal also inflicted mental anguish and psychological trauma upon him.

He consequently seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

The Pinkerton Law Firm is representing the plaintiff, and Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox is presiding over the case.

Case No. 10-cv-1202

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