Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 17, 2012, 9:44pm

MARSHALL - The family of a deceased oil rig safety worker has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the maker of a manifold trailer used during a fracking process at an oil and gas well.

Cathy Neely, individually and as representative of the Estate of Jeremiah Neely, deceased; Dale Johnston as next friend of a minor; Heather Hayford as next friend of a minor; Brenda Thorn; and Keith Neely filed suit against Enerflow Industries Inc. on Aug. 31 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

The defendant manufactured a manifold trailer, which was sold as a frack trailer, a piece of equipment used during the fracking process on an oil and gas well.

The defendant is accused of failing to weld a steel plate, to act as an end cap on a piece of pipe, on the front of the trailer. The defendant is further accused of not detecting that the steel plate was not properly welded, painting over the steel plate, and selling the manifold trailer to Platinum Energy Solutions.

Jeremy Neely was working for Platinum at the Brent Miller A 1 oil/gas well on an Encana oil/gas lease near Chireno, Texas, when the incident occurred on July 5. During the fracking operation, a pinhole leak formed on the front of the manifold trailer at the end of the pipe where the steel plate was located. Neely was inspecting the leak, when the steel plate from the end of the pipe exploded off the manifold trailer and hit him, the suit states.

Due to the pressure of the water and the impact of the steel plate, Neely was blown backwards and hit his head on a piece of equipment. He suffered fatal injuries in the form of blunt force trauma to the chest and an open head fracture.

The defendant is accused of negligence and strict products liability-manufacturing defect.

The lawsuit is seeking an award of actual damages, survival damages, wrongful death damages, exemplary damages, interest and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by John D. Sloan Jr. and Carson R. Runge of Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher & Perry Law Firm in Longview and Todd Tefteller and Jarom Tefteller of Tefteller Law Firm in Gilmer.

A jury trial is requested.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00569

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