United Scaffolding in trial over worker's head injury

David Yates Mar. 21, 2011, 11:00am

After four years of litigation, a civil trial against United Scaffolding is underway in Jefferson County. Jurors will have to decide if the company is responsible for a worker's head injury.

Court records show that on May 31, 2006, while working near a scaffold, plaintiff Louie Meiers suffered his head injury when a co-worker inadvertently pushed a 4-by-4 inch board off the scaffold's walkway which struck him.

Meiers and his fellow Performance Contractors employees were working at the Valero refinery in Jefferson County when the incident occurred.

A year after the incident, Meiers filed suit against United Scaffolding, the suppliers and builders of the scaffold, and Valero Energy, which owns the refinery where Meiers was injured.

Jury selection began Monday, March 21 in Judge Bob Wortham's 58th District Court.

This is not the only litigation Meiers is pursuing in Jefferson County District Court.

Earlier this month, the Southeast Texas Record reported that Meiers filed suit against Zurich American Insurance, seeking to reinstate the worker's comp claim he pursued following the incident.

Meiers lost his benefits after five years of receiving worker's compensation, court papers say.

During the trial, Meiers will try to convince jurors that United Scaffolding was negligent in not placing guards on the walkway to prevent the 4-by-4 from being pushed off.

"While performing his job duties, his co-worker pushed a ... 4-by-4 board owned by Performance ... off a walkway, which struck plaintiff," court papers say.

Meiers is seeking damages for past and future mental anguish, pain, lost wages and medical expenses.

Beaumont attorney Clay Dugas represents him.

United Scaffolding is represented in part by Mehaffy Weber attorney Kathleen Kennedy.

Case No. A178-592

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