Gas company worker struck by tool box sues employer

Kelly Holleran May 25, 2010, 9:28am

A Bexar County man claims he suffered severe physical pain and mental anguish after a driver zoomed away from him, causing the door of a toolbox to strike him.

Dagoberto Jimenez filed a lawsuit May 14 in Jefferson County District Court against Gasco Services.

Jimenez claims he and his Gasco co-workers attempted to install a gas line to trailer homes in Port Arthur on Nov. 13, 2008, when he noticed that John Chumchal had made an error and connected a shallow pipe that had no gas.

"When Plaintiff told John Chumchal he made an error, John Chumchal, during the course and scope of his employment, got on the company truck, and drove away right next to Plaintiff, Dagoberto Jimenez," the suit states. "However, the toolbox on the truck was open and as a result, the toolbox door struck Plaintiff, which proximately caused the injuries and damages complained of herein."

In addition to his severe physical pain and mental anguish, Jimenez incurred medical costs, suffered physical impairment, has been unable to perform his regular work duties and household services and endured surgery to his arm, causing scarring, the complaint says.

He blames Gasco for the incident, saying it negligently failed to use ordinary care and properly screen perspective employees, failed to supervise Chumchal, failed to train Chumchal as a reasonable company would have, retained Chumchal as an employee even though it knew he would create an unreasonable risk to others and failed to enforce compliance with established safety rules.

In his complaint, Jimenez seeks a judgment within the jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Oscar A. Garza of The Law Firm of Oscar A. Garza in San Antonio will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B186-863.

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