Caterpillar sued by Texas company after wheel loader catches fire

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Oct. 9, 2013, 12:45pm

SHERMAN - A Paris, Texas, company has filed a lawsuit against Caterpillar claiming that a wheel loader caught fire while being used by an employee was using it.

Jemasco Inc. filed suit against Caterpillar Inc. on Sept. 12 in Lamar County District Court. The defendant removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on Oct. 4. 

Jemasco operates a family owned and operated bark and soil products company in Paris, Texas.

According to the suit, on June 17, 2011, a Jemasco employee was using a wheel loader made by Caterpillar when it allegedly caught fire.

Court papers state the fire originated in the engine compartment, and the plaintiff alleges it was due to a fuel system line leak and/or a hydraulic line leak. The line failed, resulting in flammable hydraulic fluid spraying onto the hot engine parts and starting the fire, the suit claims.

The plaintiff argues that the Caterpillar wheel loader was unreasonably dangerous, not fit for its intended use, and failed to meet the reasonable expectations of an ordinary consumer because it had a defective design and was manufactured with defects.

The defendant is accused of negligence, strict liability and breach of warranty.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages, interest, attorney’s fees and court costs.

Jemasco Inc. is represented by Scott P. Hazen and Tracy Graves Wolf of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP in Dallas. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:13-cv-00588

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