Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Dec. 13, 2012, 2:13pm

A floor-hand who was injured by a forklift while working on an oil drilling rig, has filed a lawsuit seeking $1.5 million in damages.

Justin Currington filed suit against XTO Energy Inc. and Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. on Dec. 12 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

According to the suit, Currington was working for Precision Drilling on Feb. 13 as the crew was preparing to install a spool on a wellhead when a forklift tilted over, causing the spool to pin Currington to the wellhead. He suffered eight broken ribs and a severe injury to his right shoulder, the suit claims.

The plaintiff argues that the rented forklift was not equipped with a load computer or other automatic devices to warn an operator when the boom length and weight load exceeded maximum allowable limits. Hertz is accused of negligence for failing to provide adequate, visible and intelligible warnings on load capacity.

Defendant XTO is accused of failing to provide any information about the weight of the equipment and spool and as a result, the forklift operator inadvertently extended the boom to the point where the forklift became unsteady and tipped over.

Defendant XTO is also accused of failing to enforce safety on the job.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of $1.5 million in damages for medical expenses, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, physical impairment, pain, suffering, mental anguish, interest and court costs.

Currington is represented by Beaumont attorney Steven C. Barkley. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:12-cv-00589

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