This Just In: Recent civil filings in Jefferson County District Courts

By Marilyn Tennissen | Nov 29, 2007

Nov. 19

  • EDCare Management Inc. vs. Kirk Williams MD et al

    PA � William Little, J � Bob Wortham

    After the contract for management of emergency services at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas was granted to EDCare Management, Dr. Kirk Williams wrote a letter to his colleagues in the healthcare community criticizing the hospital's new choice.

    Williams' Apollo ER had held the contract with the Medical Center's parent company Iasis for many years. He claimed the renewal offer from Iasis contained contract stipulations that "no doctor in good conscience" could agree to. In a "Dear colleagues" letter, Williams alleged that Iasis conspired with EDCare for the contract, which he says was awarded without a bid process.

    After the allegations in the letter and verbal comments made by the doctor, EDCare filed a defamation suit against Williams and Apollo ER. EDCare says Williams acted with negligence, ill will and actual malice.

    The company is seeking all natural and proximate losses resulting from the defamatory statements as well as presumptive and exemplary damages.

    Case No. A180-790

  • Tammy Presley et al vs. Gulf States Utilities Co. et al

    PA � Sandee Hart, J � Donald Floyd

    On June 9, 2007, Kevin Lee Presley was performing repairs on a dump truck owned by his employer Jackey Derryberry of Fairway Construction at the NAPA Auto Parts Store in Montgomery.

    The bed of the truck came into contact with a high voltage electric line owned and controlled by Entergy. Presley died from electrocution.

    On behalf of Presley's estate and individually, his widow Tammy Presley filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Gulf States Utilities Co. and Entergy Gulf States Inc.

    The plaintiff alleges that Presley's death was caused by negligence on the part of the utility company.

    Tammy Presley seeks to recover funeral and burial expenses; future medical, psychological or psychiatric bills and expenses; past and future mental anguish; loss of consortium and companionship; loss of inheritance; loss of household services; the physical pain and suffering and mental anguish experienced by Kevin Presley prior to his death; physical impairment prior to his death and other damages that may result from discovery performed in the suit. She is also seeking punitive damages.

    Case No. E180-784

    Nov. 21

  • Ida Lee Chretien vs. Lightfoot Landscaping et al

    PA � Trent Bond, J � Milton Shuffield

    On Feb. 17, 2006, Ida Lee Chretien was walking on the sidewalk outside the Villas at Sunnyside retirement community when she "tripped and fell over debris that the defendant neglected to clear."

    She filed a personal injury suit against Lightfoot Landscaping & Lawn Co. and the Villas at Sunnyside Retirement Community, alleging the defendants were negligent for allowing the debris to remain on the sidewalk.

    Chretien is suing for lost earnings and earning capacity, past and future pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, physical impairment, disfigurement and loss of ability to enjoy life. She is also asking for interest, court costs and attorney fees. In the event the evidence shows that the defendants' conduct amounts to gross negligence, then the plaintiff is seeking punitive damages.

    Case No. D180-801

    Nov. 26

  • Andrea Davillier II et al vs. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

    PA � Jason Payne, J � Donald Floyd

    On "Black Friday" 2005, hundreds of shoppers flooded the Wal-Mart in Beaumont in the pre-dawn hours to take advantage of rock-bottom prices on lap top computers and other electronics. But the joyous shopping trip turned into a melee when a security officer shot pepper spray to try to subdue a crowd he claimed had become unruly.

    Now two years after the incident, two customers who say they were "assaulted" by the officer's use of the irritant have filed a lawsuit against the store.

    Andrea Davillier II of Beaumont and Sara Spikes of Houston filed a personal injury suit against Wal-Mart on Nov. 26 in Jefferson County District Court.

    Davillier and Spikes say the "assault or attack" caused them a great deal of stress, mental anguish, medical expenses and pain and suffering.

    They allege that Wal-Mart is guilty of negligence for failing to train, supervise, retain and hire its employees. Because the plaintiffs also assert that the defendant's conduct constituted gross negligence, conscious indifference and malice, they are entitled to punitive and/or exemplary damages.

    Case No. E180-810

  • Onita L. Bennett et al vs. Pine Forest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center et al

    PA � Dan Packard, J � Milton Shuffield

    The widow of a nursing home resident claims that because physicians and staff at the facility failed to properly supervise her husband, he fell numerous times and sustained injuries that ultimately led to his death. Onita L. Bennett, individually and as representative of the estate of Elwood H. Bennett, deceased, filed a medical malpractice suit against Pine Forest Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers and others in Jefferson County District Court. According to the plaintiff's original petition, Elwood Bennett was a patient at Pine Forest.

    Defendants, including the center and Dr. Syed Anwar, owed a duty to provide Bennett with proper medical care. Because the standard of care was breached, Bennett was allowed to remain unprotected and unsupervised, which resulted in his experiencing multiple falls.

    Onita Bennett is seeking reasonable compensation for the damages suffered by Elwood Bennett including physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement and medical expenses. She is also asking for attorney fees, cost of suit, punitive damages and statutory damages.

    Case No. D180-812

    Nov. 28

  • Guillermo Guzman vs. Max Access Inc.

    PA - John A. Carwile, J - Donald Floyd

    Suspended over the ocean, the cable attached to Guillermo Guzman's basket suddenly "detached," causing the basket, Guzman and his co-worker "to fall many feet into the water below." Guzman is suing the supplier of the basket and cable, Max Access Inc., for negligence.
    He is suing for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish and physical impairment.

    Case No. E180-822

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