Burned electrician sues over exploding electrical box

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Feb. 20, 2012, 10:42am

Benny Agosto Jr. of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend in Houston.

GALVESTON - A Texas City couple claims the husband suffered "agonizing" burns to his upper body during an on the job incident last year, recent court documents say.

According to Tracy and Jeannie Hill's lawsuit against Texas International Terminals Ltd., Tracy Hill was caught in an explosion while he was working on an electrical box at the defendant's facilities on Oct. 5.

The suit was filed Feb. 14 in Galveston County District Court.

According to the suit, Tracy Hill, an employee of Sullivan Interests, was allegedly instructed by an employee of the defendant to repair several of the defendant's transformers and electrical boxes.

Tracy Hill states he was going to get his electrical testing meter just before the event in question.

"He returned to the box and was about 3-6 feet away from it when he heard a loud pop, saw a bright light and then an explosion," the suit states.

"Being so near the explosion, the plaintiff was immediately knocked to the ground and his upper body caught on fire."

The plaintiff claims he "experienced intense fear and shock after being thrown to the floor." He alleges he did not receive assistance and had to extinguish himself despite "unrelenting pain."

He claims he also had to drive a mile to the security office to get help. The plaintiff was later transported to the University of Texas Medical Branch's burn unit, according to the suit.

The plaintiff claims his recovery "has been slow and arduous".

Texas International Terminals is blamed for creating a dangerous condition and failing to warn of the condition, directing the complainant to perform work in a dangerous manner, failing to properly maintain its premises and equipment, permitting the area to remain in its dangerous state, failing to de-energize the electrical box prior to the assignment and failing to properly implement lockout/tagout procedures as ordered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Consequently, the Hills seek unspecified monetary damages.

They are represented by Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Wayne Mallia.

Case No. 12-cv-225

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