Discovery continues in refinery worker's suit over chemical burns

David Yates Nov. 21, 2011, 5:29am

Last June, Charles Wilson sued ExxonMobil, alleging he should have been warned of a dangerous chemical inside a pipe that caused significant burns to his arm.

On June 14 Miller Environmental Services, a third party defendant and Wilson's employer at the time of the incident, filed a certificate of discovery responses in the case.

In his suit, Wilson claims he worked for Miller Environmental Services and, as part of his job duties, was required to clean out a drain line. Before he could begin working on the line, however, Wilson had to obtain a safe work permit.

On April 27, 2009, while working at an ExxonMobil plant, Wilson obtained the required safe work permit, which the ExxonMobil operator filled out to indicate there were no chemical hazards present in the drain line, the suit states.

According to the complaint, when Wilson began his work on the drain line, he stuck his arm into a pipe. Suddenly, his right hand began to burn.

"As it turned out, it was a significant percentage of some sort of caustic chemical in the pipe that caused significant burns to Plaintiff's right forearm from his wrist to his elbow," the suit states.

Wilson is suing for his alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages, plus all court costs.

Steven C. Barkley of Beaumont represents him.

Germer Gertz attorney Karen Bennett of Beaumont represents MES.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. A187-024

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