Sanctions sought against Valero for failing to fund settlement

David Yates Mar. 22, 2011, 9:10am


Last October, the Southeast Texas Record reported that a jury found Valero Energy and plaintiff Allan Gaspard equally at fault for Gaspard's work related injury, but still elected to levy a $225,688.80 verdict against the oil company.

On Jan. 13, plaintiff's attorney Jason Cansler filed a motion to enforce settlement as well as a motion for sanctions.

The case went to trial on Sept. 28 and ended Oct. 1. Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, presided over the trial.

Court records show the jury concluded that both Valero and Gaspard were evenly responsible for the injury, but still awarded Gaspard $107,500 for his impairment and disfigurement, $50,000 for mental anguish, $29,500 for lost wages and $13,688.80 in past medical expenses.

Although a judgment was officially entered in November, Valero settled for $80,000 on Dec. 10, rather than appeal and continue litigating, court records show.

However, Valero has refused to fund the full amount of the settlement, according to the motion to enforce.

The plaintiff is also asking the court to impose sanctions of $2,000 against Valero for failing to fund the settlement in a reasonable amount of time.

Gaspard, an Orange County resident, filed suit against Valero in January 2009, alleging the company negligently caused him to burn his hand with acid.

The suit states Gaspard was performing work on a line carrying hydrofluoric acid at the Valero Port Arthur refinery when a valve malfunctioned and released the acid.

Valero is represented by Beaumont attorney Michael Eaves of the Calvert Eaves Clarke & Stelly law firm.

Case No. A183-062

More News