Robbie Hargett Oct. 14, 2015, 12:38pm


A Louisiana man is suing an energy company and its contractor, alleging negligence in a fracking accident.

James Allen Cole, of Webster, La., filed a lawsuit Sept. 30 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against EP Energy Company, E&P, and Oaks Personnel Services, doing business as Oaks Group, alleging negligence, negligent hiring, gross negligence and premises liability.

On March 3, 2014, the complaint states, Cole was working for Daniel Boone Consulting on a hydraulic fracking operation near Big Lake, Texas, a site owned by EP Energy. The on-site company man was a joint employee of EP Energy and Oaks Group. The suit says temperatures were freezing on this date but the company man decided to continue fracking operations, but failed to order the proper anti-freeze materials to put in the pipes.

As a result, an ice plug formed, preventing pressure gauges from reading properly, the suit says. Another man looked at the pressure gauge, which read zero, and opened the valve, at which point the ice plug blew and caused the pipeline to swing, striking and throwing Cole, the lawsuit states.

The complaint alleges the defendants' actions constitute negligence and gross negligence. As a result, Cole sustained a concussion and injuries to his head, neck, and lower back, the suit says.

The lawsuit states the plaintiff also sustained disability and impairment, physical pain and mental anguish, scars, lost income and earning capacity, plus medical expenses.

Cole seeks actual and exemplary damages, interests and court costs. He is represented by attorneys Benton G. Ross and Douglas C. Monsour of The Monsour Law Firm in Longview.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number 4:15-cv-02844.

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