Motiva moves for summary judgment in wrongful death suit

David Yates Aug. 29, 2011, 7:36am

Motiva Enterprises recently filed a motion for summary judgment in a wrongful death suit, arguing that there is no evidence it controlled work performed by a former Bo-Mac Contractors employee.

As previously reported, plaintiff Lucy Lopez, representing the estate of Martin Lopez, filed suit in June 2010 against Motiva and Bo-Mac Contractors, alleging her late husband was alone at work when he suffered a heart attack and fell into a hole full of mud and water.

Court records show that Lopez was working for Bo-Mac Contractors on Motiva's premises when he suffered a heart attack on Nov. 2, 2009.

On Aug. 1 Motiva filed a motion for summary judgment, contending "there is no evidence that Motiva, as a property owner, exercised or retained control over the manner of Bo-Mac's or Decedent's work."

Motiva also maintains there is no evidence that it had actual knowledge of the alleged dangerous condition that caused Lopez's injury.

The suit faults the defendants for negligently failing to supervise Lopez.

"Although policy required a worker be with Plaintiff while he worked in the hole, none were around," the suit states.

"Martin Lopez fell face down in the hole where there was an accumulation of water. When Martin Lopez was found, CPR was done on him, but he later died. Mud and water was found in Martin Lopez throat and lungs, indicating he was alive and ingesting the muddy water while he attempted to breath."

The Lopez family is suing for all wrongful death damages allowable under law.

Houston attorney Larry Trimble represents them.

Motiva is represented by Nicholas Baldo, attorney for the Beaumont law firm Stevens Baldo Freeman & Lighty.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is presiding.

Case No. A187-206

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