Driver alleges rig turned too far from curb, causing collision

By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau | Feb 21, 2008

MARSHALL -- While traveling in Longview, driver Rita Bethea attempted to make a right-hand turn from the road's shoulder. Truck driver Lawrence Malone was also attempting a right-hand turn onto the same access road, when the trailer of his rig struck Bethea's vehicle.

Bethea is suing Malone's employer for more than $75,000 alleging that the tractor-trailer did not make the "turn as closely as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway."

The Longview resident, on behalf of herself and a minor, filed the suit against Kay Energy Services, Inc. on Feb 14 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Bethea alleges defendant Key Energy Services is vicariously liable for employee Malone's actions under the doctrine of Respondent Superior. The plaintiffs' assert the defendant is negligent for hiring, training, supervising, retaining, and entrusting a tractor-trailer to Malone.

The lawsuit states that Malone was negligent through failing to keep a lookout or applying the brakes, as a person using ordinary care would have made and "for turning his tractor-trailer from the direct course when said movement could not be made safely."

Bethea is seeking more than $75,000 in damages for physical impairment and pain, mental anguish, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and medical expenses. On behalf of the minor, the suit is seeking damages for past and future medical expenses, physical pain and mental anguish.

Matthew B. Flanery and Darren Grant of the Tyler law firm Grant and Flanery, P.C. are representing the plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs are demanding a jury trial.

Houston-based Key Energy Services specializes in onshore energy production services and employees more than 7,500 people worldwide.

According to the company's website, they offer "workover services, fluid and logistics services, fishing and rental services, pressure pumping, electric wireline, and drilling, with a specialty in coal bed methane."

Currently, the company has not responded to the allegations.

Judge T. John Ward will preside over the litigation.

Case No.: 2:08cv00066

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