The maker of a conveyor belt that malfunctioned at the local Goodyear facility has been dismissed from a lawsuit filed by an injured worker.
As reported by the Southeast Texas Record last year, Goodyear employee Timothy Segura claims he was thrown headfirst from a conveyor belt when the machine allegedly started on its own.
Segura and his wife, Lisa, filed suit in Jefferson County against his employer and the belt's manufacturer, Haver Services, on June 7, 2007.
A year later, defendant Haver Services filed a motion for summary judgment. On July 25, 2008, Judge Donald Floyd of the 172nd Judicial District granted the company's motion – dismissing Haver Services with prejudice.
"It is ordered … that all of the plaintiffs' … claims against Haver Services … are dismissed with prejudice," Floyd wrote in his order.
Haver was represented by Samuel Stubbs of Pillsbury Winthrop in Houston.
According to the original petition, Timothy Segura 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 incident has caused him to suffer pain and mental anguish.
The suit stated that the conveyor, built by Haver, malfunctioned because of improper installation.
"Goodyear knew that the conveyor 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, but also faulted Haver with breach of warranty.
The plaintiffs are seeking 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.
Cory Itkin and Kurt Arnold of Arnold & Itkin in Houston are representing the plaintiffs.
Goodyear is represented by Elizabeth Pratt of Mehaffy Weber in Beaumont.
Goodyear attempted to have the case removed to federal court, but U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone found that her court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and remanded the case back to Jefferson County.
Case No. E179-451