Worker sues Ameco, Total for spinal injury

Kelly Holleran Jun. 5, 2012, 5:31am

A Jefferson County man claims he sustained spinal injuries after his employer failed to provide him with proper work equipment.

Arthur Lee Chatman IV filed a lawsuit May 29 in Jefferson County District Court against American Equipment Co., also known as Ameco, and Total Petrochemicals and Refining USA, formerly known as Total Petrochemicals.

In his complaint, Chatman claims he was working for Fluor Corp. at the Total Petrochemicals plant in Jefferson County on June 9, 2010, with a truck that Ameco had supplied. However, on the truck, Ameco had failed to place outrigger pads, according to the complaint.

In turn, Chatman claims he was forced to use homemade pads with no handles, the suit states. After utilizing his creation, Chatman injured his spine and had to undergo back surgery, the complaint says.

In addition to his injuries, Chatman claims he lost wages and his earning capacity, incurred medical costs and experienced physical pain, mental anguish and physical impairment.

He blames Ameco for contributing to his injuries, saying the company failed to provide appropriate accessories on its equipment.

Chatman also names Total Petrochemicals as a defendant, saying it should have known that Ameco's actions were dangerous.

In his complaint, Chatman is seeking a judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits for Jefferson County District Court, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Curtis W. Leister of Reaud, Morgan and Quinn in Beaumont will be representing him.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B192-509

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