David Yates Oct. 10, 2013, 11:52am

A lawsuit alleging a man drowned after being struck by a flailing hose has been transferred out of Jefferson County.

As previously reported, Tiffany Powell and Melanie Jensen filed a lawsuit Feb. 6 in Jefferson County District Court against National Pump and Compressor, Caprock Energy Services and Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Court records show Caprock answered the suit on March 28, requesting that case be transferred to Hood or Parker County.

The answer and motion to transfer states that there is no logical nexus between Jefferson County and the incident, and that the area residents have no interest in a lawsuit involving plaintiffs from Hood County regarding an incident occurring in Oklahoma.

On Sept. 13 Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, granted the motion, transferring the case in its entirety to Parker County in Weatherford, Texas, court papers say.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs allege Gaylon Taylor was working for Caprock and was assigned to pump water from a large water pit at Chesapeake by using a Pioneer Prime Series End-Suction Centrifugal Pump.

National Pump and Compressor had supplied the pump and had attached a discharge manifold, which consisted of two 8-inch lines and one 4-inch line, according to the complaint.

While Taylor was attempting to begin his task, the water pressure suddenly built up, becoming too intense, the suit states.

“The four-inch discharge hose began to wave through the air, hitting Gaylon on the head and knocking him into a water retention pond, where he drowned,” the complaint says.

Because of Taylor’s death, the plaintiffs claim they have incurred funeral and burial costs and have lost his companionship and society.

In their suit, they blame Caprock for gross negligence, saying it failed to provide a safe work environment, failed to provide safe work equipment, failed to provide adequate assistance, failed to properly secure the recirculation hose and failed to provide proper procedures for employees.

The plaintiffs also name Chesapeake as a defendant, accusing it of premises liability, saying it failed to equip its premises with adequate safety features, failed to correct dangerous conditions, failed to put up warning signs, failed to provide adequate instructions to people on its property, failed to instruct its employees to maintain a hazard-free environment and failed to supervise employees to ensure the safety of everyone on its premises.

National Pump and Compressor is accused of products liability for allegedly failing to use a hose that had a safer design, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs seek exemplary damages, plus a judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Jeff Benton and Daryoush Toofanian of Rad Law Firm in Dallas represent them.

San Antonio attorney Stephanie O’Rourke of Cokinos, Bosien & Young represents Caprock.

Jefferson County case No. D193-899

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