Motion for partial summary judgment filed in welding injury suit

David Yates Apr. 13, 2011, 8:28am

A defendant recently filed a motion for partial summary judgment in a suit alleging a teenage welder sparked a fire and burned plaintiff James Anderson.

As previously reported, Anderson sued Virgil and Rodney Martel in October 2009, alleging he was injured when their teenage relative, Kevin Martel, indirectly caused a container he was welding to explode.

On March 18 Virgil Martel filed a motion for partial summary judgment, asserting that he did not operate the wielding shop and is therefore not responsible for Anderson's injuries.

Virgil Martel had filed a similar motion in early January but received an unfavorable ruling, court records show.

In his suit, Anderson claims he was performing yard work at the Martels' property on June 23, 2009, when he heard activity coming from a structure on the property.

Anderson entered the structure and began speaking with Kevin Martel, a 15-year-old relative of Virgil and Rodney Martel, who was welding a handle onto a vessel, court records show.

Court records show the vessel had previously contained diesel or some other fuel and was not properly cleaned and not prepared for welding, causing it to explode and catch fire.

"Plaintiff alleges that the vessel exploded and that such explosion was a proximate cause of catastrophic injuries to the Plaintiff," the complaint says.

Anderson is suing to recover medical expenses and damages for his alleged mental anguish.

Tommy L. Yeates and Anthony Malley III of Moore Landrey in Beaumont represent him.

Germer Gertz attorney Larry Simmons of Beaumont represents Virgil Martel.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. E185-134

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