Malfunctioning crane blamed for man's injuries at BP Texas City refinery

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Aug. 16, 2011, 4:00am


GALVESTON - Tommy Abshire is suing BP Products North America Inc. and Maxim Crane Works after being struck by a component of a reportedly malfunctioning crane almost two years ago.

A pad eye on the crane tore loose and caused a shackle to hit Abshire on the left side of the head on Oct. 8, 2009, according to a lawsuit filed Aug. 9 in Galveston County District Court.

Maxim is the crane's presumed owner while BP's Texas City refinery is the location of the alleged incident.

Court papers show Abshire and others attempting to lift the cover of a convection box when the pad eye loosened.

The original petition asserts the crane in question was reportedly malfunctioning and subsequently jerking periodically.

"The accident was caused, among other things, by improper rigging, improper lifting techniques, improper crane operation, improper supervision and a faulty and malfunctioning crane, of which the defendants were aware," the suit says.

It adds Maxim was responsible for rigging and ensuring a safe lift, but the company and BP personnel failed to test the pad eyes or the rigger in an effort to determine their safety.

Abshire says he has had neck surgery and continues to have headaches, neck pain, difficulty sleeping and dizziness, summarily stating he was diagnosed with a closed head injury.

He consequently seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

The Buzbee Law Firm is representing the complainant, and Galveston County 212th District Court Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

Case No. 11-cv-1302

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