Defense seeks to add third party in backhoe injury lawsuit

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Mar. 12, 2012, 10:00am

Michael Gerstle

GALVESTON - A backhoe company sued over an incident at a local high school has submitted a motion to designate responsible third parties into a lawsuit against it.

Bates Backhoe Service seeks to have LECS Ltd. and Drymalla Construction Co. included in Jacob Walker's case, according to a four-page document filed Mar. 2 before the Galveston County 212th District Court.

As previously reported, Walker filed suit against Bates on Feb. 23, 2011, claiming one of its pieces of heavy machinery crushed him.

The original petition states the incident occurred as the plaintiff was taking measurements for an electrical conduit at Texas City High School for LECS, his employer.

Bates was operating equipment behind Walker as he was working just as the backhoe became fully extended and split the ditch, causing a side wall to collapse and the piece of equipment to fall on the plaintiff, the suit says.

Bates entered its original answer on Jun. 3, 2011.

According to the motion, the complainant worked for LECS as an electrical subcontractor to Drymalla, the prime contactor, therefore both companies "had an obligation to provide a safe work site and ensure that the workers perform their work in a safe manner."

LECS was supposed to properly train Walker on measuring a trench while Drymalla had the task of making sure work conditions were safe, it says.

The case is set for trial on June 4.

Gerstle, Minissale & Snelson LLP of Dallas is representing the defendant.

The plaintiff is represented by the Buzbee Firm of Galveston.

Case No. 11-cv-328

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