Notice of intention to take defense attorney's deposition quashed

David Yates Oct. 31, 2011, 9:10am


Colonial Pipeline attorney Howard Close will not have to give his deposition in a suit filed by injured worker Gregory Hollis.

Court records show that two days after falling through a hole in a storage tank, Hollis filed suit against Colonial Pipeline Co. and Industrial Coatings Contractors on Oct. 31, 2008, in Jefferson County District Court.

On Oct. 20 Colonial Pipeline filed a motion to quash Hollis' notice of intention to take Close's deposition.

A court official told the Southeast Record that Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, approved the motion on Monday.

Court records show that Judge Wortham ordered the parties into mediation in April.

"All parties are ordered to mediation on April 28 before Dan Ducote in Beaumont, Texas," the order states. "All parties are required to have present in person at mediation a representative for each defendant with ultimate authority to settle."

The motion to quash states the parties reached a settlement but some issues over guardianship and related filings in a probate court continue.

The motion argues that seeking Close's testimony is irrelevant and inadmissible concerning any alleged breach of contract claims in the settlement agreement.

Hollis, an Industrial Coatings employee, was on Colonial Pipeline's premises on Oct. 29, 2008, when he fell through an opening in a tank and was injured.

In his suit, Hollis contends "one or more of the defendants were negligent in cutting the hole in the top of the tank instead of the side of the tank."

"The defendants had actual or constructive knowledge that the hole ... was not adequately covered, barricaded and marked."

Attorney Curtis Leister of the Reaud, Morgan & Quinn law firm represents Hollis.

Close is an attorney for the Wright & Close law firm in Houston.

Case No. A182-648

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