Negligence blamed for mysterious self-starting conveyor, suit says

By David Yates | Jun 11, 2007

Arnold & Itkin

A superstitious person might blame "ghosts in the machine" for an unexplained mechanical breakdown, but a local plant employee isn't putting the blame on phantoms for the injuries he received at the Beaumont Goodyear facility.

Timothy Aaron Segura blames Goodyear's negligence for his injuries, claiming he was thrown headfirst from a conveyor when the machine mysteriously started "on its own."

He and his wife Lisa Ann, have filed a personal injury lawsuit against Goodyear and its subsidiaries, along with the manufacturer of the conveyor, Haver & Boecker, and one of its employees, Doug Jones.

According to the Segura's original petition, filed with the Jefferson County District Court on June 7, he was working at the Goodyear glue plant in Beaumont when "a bulk bagging conveyor started on its own, when it should not have."

"As a result, Segura was thrown headfirst and sustained severe and permanent injuries to his brain, back and arm," the suit said, adding that the traumatic incident has caused him to suffer pain and mental anguish.

The suit goes on to say the conveyor was built by Haver then sold to Goodyear, and that the machine's malfunction was caused by improper installation.

"Goodyear knew that the convey0r had malfunctioned on numerous occasions," the suit said. "Despite this knowledge, Goodyear consciously ignored warnings and complaints about the (machine) and disregarded the obvious and dangerous malfunctions. The (company) improperly maintained the conveyor and failed to make necessary repairs."

The suit faults Goodyear with gross negligence for failing to fix the machine and also faults Haver with breach of warranty.

The plaintiffs are suing for compensatory, actual, consequential and exemplary damages, plus interest and court costs.

Lisa Ann Segura is also suing for loss of love, companionship, society, support, consortium and mental anguish.

The plaintiffs are demanding a trial by jury, and attorney Stephen R. Foster of the Arnold & Itkin law firm represents them.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, will preside over the case.

Case No. E179-451

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