A contracted employee was sandblasting railway equipment in Vidor when his air hose somehow became tangled up in a rotating auger, which first pulled him up against the wall of a railcar and then underneath it, severely injuring him.

Anthony Whitehurst, a Frost Enterprises employee, filed suit against Trinity Industries and its subsidiary Trinity Railcar Repair on April 23 in the Orange County District Court, claiming the company failed to warn him not to go near an operational auger.

According to Whitehurst's suit, the incident happened exactly two years ago on April 23, 2006. He was contracted by Trinity to grit blast railway equipment at the company's 4117 Plant in Vidor.

"Due to (Trinity's) negligence, Whitehurst was required to grit blast railway equipment in an area near an auger which was not properly equipped to protect him and his equipment," the suit says.

"As a result, Whitehurst's air hose was caught in the auger and pulled him against the wall of a railcar and subsequently underneath the railcar."

Whitehurst also claims Trinity was negligent for failing to provide a safe work place, comply with industry standards and provide proper safety equipment.

"(Whitehurst's) injuries have had a serious effect on his health and well-being," the suit says. "These effects will abide with him for a long time into the future, if not for his entire life."

He is suing for past and future medical expenses, pain, lost wages, disfigurement and mental anguish.

His is represented by attorney Brian Sutton of the Sutton & Jacobs law firm.

The case has been assigned to Judge Pat Clark, 128th Judicial District.

Case No. A080166-c

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