Judge approves counsel change in suit alleging man crushed by toolbox

David Yates Nov. 2, 2010, 7:14am


A Jefferson County judge has allowed a change of plaintiffs' attorney in an ongoing personal injury case.

Louisiana resident Nicholas Senette filed a suit claiming a forklift operator crushed his left side by dropping a 2,000-pound metal toolbox on him.

Naming Signal International as the defendant, Nicholas Senette, and his wife Heidi, filed the lawsuit June 21 in Jefferson County District Court.

Four months later, presiding Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, signed an order granting Senette's motion to withdraw and substitute counsel of record on Oct. 4.

The motion requested Robert Grossman of Grossman Law Firm in Humble be replaced by Louisiana attorney James Domengeaux.

Court records show Senette drove his 18-wheeler rig loaded with various types of oil field equipment to the Signal International shipyards in Port Arthur. The truck contained items such as welding machines, large metal baskets and large metal cementer's tool boxes that weigh about 2,000 pounds.

As Senette was unbinding straps that secured the equipment to the rig, a Signal employee began removing the equipment from the truck.

Senette was still in the process of unbinding the equipment on the trailer when Signal International's forklift operator knocked one of the large metal tool boxes off of the trailer, causing the tool box to strike him on the left side of his body, knocking him to the ground and crushing his leg, the suit states.

The Senettes are suing for medical costs; experienced pain, suffering and mental anguish, lost wages and lost consortium.

They blame Signal for causing the accident, saying the company or its employees negligently failed to maintain a proper lookout and failed to ensure the area was cleared before beginning the offload process.

Case No. E187-115

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