Wrongful death lawsuit filed against manufacturer of railcar elevator

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 1, 2010, 4:00am

MARSHALL-The family of a deceased Greg County man, who was killed using a railcar elevator, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit that alleges the machine lacked an emergency cut-off device that could have saved the man's life.

Jacquelin Ferguson, individually, as next friend of minors SEF, VMF and CVF and as representative of the estate of deceased Eric John Ferguson; Tammy Raines, as next friend of minor JLF; and Steven John Ferguson, individually; filed suit against Compton Enterprises Inc. and Santrol, a division of Fairmont Minerals, on Aug. 25 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

Jacquelin Ferguson and the three minors, of Gregg County, are the wife and children of Eric John Ferguson, deceased.

Elkridge, Md., residents Tammy Raines, minor JLF and Steven John Ferguson are the ex-spouse and children of the deceased.

According to the lawsuit, Eric John Ferguson received fatal injuries while he was using a Compton railcar elevator on July 17.

The suit claims Ferguson was killed when he was swept into the transloader, which was unguarded and contained no kill switch or emergency cut-off device. Defendant Compton manufactured and sold the railcar to defendant Santrol.

The defendants are accused of defective design, defective manufacturing and defective marketing. The suit also alleges failure to warn, breach of express and implied warranty and negligence.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages for pecuniary loss, loss of companionship and society, mental anguish, punitive damages, interest and court costs.

On behalf of the estate, the plaintiffs are seeking damages for conscious physical pain and emotional pain, torment, suffering, medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses.

The petitioners are represented by G.R. Randy Akin of Longview, N. Eric Cooper of Bass & Cooper in Longview and Bruce A. Smith and T. John Ward Jr. of Ward & Smith Law Firm in Longview.

U.S. District Judge David Folsom is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv00319

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