While James McGallion, a contracted employee, was working on a Motiva refinery reactor, a blind "swung free" and whacked him in the back. He is suing Motiva Enterprises for failing to maintain a safe work environment.

McGallion filed his personal injury suit with the Jefferson County District Court on June 22. Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

According to the plaintiff's original petition, On Feb. 27, 2007, McGallion was working for Echo Construction, Ltd. at the Motiva Port Arthur Refinery in Port Arthur.

"On the date in question, plaintiff was located in a Motiva unit working with his partner on a reactor," the suit said. "While plaintiff was working, the blind that he was working on swung free and hit plaintiff in the back and pinned him against a conduit tray."

As a result of this occurrence, McGallion suffered serious injuries to his back, head and other parts of his body, the suit said, adding that he has also experienced pain, suffering, and mental anguish as a result of his injuries.

McGallion alleges that Motiva negligently failed to provide a safe work place, warn him of the unsafe condition, inspect the premise, properly train employees and provide adequate safety equipment.

The suit also faults Motiva with premise liability.

"The condition of the area where plaintiff was injured posed an unreasonable risk of harm, and defendant had actual knowledge or reasonably should have known of the unreasonably dangerous condition," the suit said. "Moreover, plaintiff did not have actual knowledge of the unreasonably dangerous condition."

McGallion is suing for compensatory, actual, punitive and special damages, plus all court costs.

He is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by attorney Jason Itkin of the Arnold & Itkin law firm.

Case No. E179-550

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