Knife River claims no evidence of man bumping his head

David Yates Aug. 19, 2010, 5:00am

Last October, Vancie Thomas sued the Knife River Corporation alleging he bumped his head on the roof of a truck.

On July 26 Knife River filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting Thomas "has no evidence which supports that he visited the company's premises on the date when he alleges the incident occurred."

A hearing on the matter has been slated for Aug. 20 in Judge Donald Floyd's 172nd District Court.

In his suit, Thomas, an Axerum Trucking employee, says he was picking up a load of sand from Knife River on Dec. 12, 2008.

Allegedly, a Knife River employee "improperly dumped a load" in the truck, causing it to lift up into the air and slam back into the ground, court papers say.

"Plaintiff claims he hit his head on the roof of the truck's cab as a result of Knife River's negligence," the company's motion states. "However ... there is no evidence that he was at the Knife River location at the time of the accident."

Knife River further contends that there are no documents, reports or witnesses to corroborate Thomas' story.

Court papers show Thomas has died since the filing of his lawsuit.

Plaintiff's attorney Tom Oxford, of Waldman & Smallwood, has asked the court to abate Knife River's motion for six months "to see if any living relative comes forward" to carry on the action.

Knife River is represented by Thomas Fee, attorney for the Dallas law firm of Fee, Smith, Sharp & Vitullo.

Case No. E185-089

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