Convenience store owner sues several after utility pole hits store

Kelly Holleran May 9, 2011, 3:54pm

The owner of a convenience store filed suit against the truck driver he claims struck a telephone wire, causing a utility pole to fall onto the store.

Najem Elahmad claims he owned a Super Stop convenience store located on Gulfway Drive in Port Arthur when the incident occurred on May 25.

Directly before the incident, defendant Brian Keith Sanders was driving a truck for defendant Huffman Construction north on Lakeview Avenue, according to the complaint filed April 28 in Jefferson County District Court.

"The truck that Defendant, Brian Keith Sanders, was driving snagged a power line causing the power line as well as the utility pole the power line was attached to fall on Plaintiff's convenient store," the suit states.

Because of the incident, Elahmad lost earnings and his earning capacity and incurred property damages of more than $100,000, the complaint says. In addition, he claims he sustained mental anguish.

Elahmad blames Sanders for causing the collision, saying he negligently failed to keep a proper lookout for overhead utility lines, failed to make sure the truck was safe to operate on Lakeview Avenue, failed to make sure all equipment was in its proper positions and breached his duty to not come into contact with power lines.

In addition to Sanders, Elahmad names Huffman Construction as a defendant, saying it should never have entrusted its vehicle to Sanders, a reckless and incompetent driver, according to the complaint.

AT&T also negligently failed to maintain its utility line in a safe manner and failed to ensure its phone lines were at a proper height above the driveway, the suit states.

In his complaint, Elahmad is seeking an amount within jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus expemplary damages, pre-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law, post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Antoine L. Freeman of Port Arthur will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 60th District Court.

Case No. B189-898

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