Man sues company over crushed hand

By Kelly Holleran | Feb 3, 2009

A Harris County man has filed suit against JE Merit Constructors and one of the company's employees, alleging his hand was crushed because of a strap that was the "wrong color."

Ron Cushing tried to fix a strap on Nov. 3 that was "supposed to be red but was instead green," according to the complaint filed Jan. 26 against Baton Rouge-based Jacobs Engineering, doing business as JE Merit Constructors in Jefferson County District Court.

"The strap was too short and got jammed," the suit states. "Plaintiff turned around to try to fix the strap with his hand and his hand was crushed."

Because of the incident, Cushing claims he suffered life-threatening injuries that required immediate medical treatment and care and suffers from physical pain, disability and mental anguish.

Cushing also incurred medical costs, suffered physical impairment and disfigurement and lost wages, according to the complaint.

Lumberton resident Russell D. Nolte, an employee of JE Merit Constructors, was negligent because he failed to inspect the strap on the beams prior to its placement on the beams, Cushing alleges.

The suit refers to Nolte as "plant manager," but does not state what facility he managed or why the proceedings were filed in Jefferson County.

JE Merit Constructors is liable because Nolte was the company's employee when the incident occurred, according to the complaint.

The company was also negligent in the supervision, training, entrustment, hiring and retention of Nolte, the suit states.

Cushing is seeking unspecified actual and punitive damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

He is represented by Brent M. Cordell of Smith and Hassler in Houston.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd of the 172nd District Court.

Case No. E183-119

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