Scaffold worker sues BP over fall at Texas City refinery

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Feb 26, 2009

GALVESTON � A Houston man is suing a petrochemical company and an industrial supplies company in Galveston County District Court for injuries he reportedly sustained as a result of a fall at a Texas City refinery in February 2008.

Israel Sanchez's personal injury lawsuit, which was filed by Houston attorney Byron J. Buchanan on Feb. 19, alleges BP and Miken Specialties Ltd. failed to properly inspect a scaffold the plaintiff used on Feb. 28.

Court papers say Sanchez was descending between two levels at the BP premises when a ladder connected to the scaffold in question broke away, causing the contract worker for fall presumably to the second tier.

"A space had been left in the floor of the second level, through which the plaintiff continued to fall, causing him to strike the concrete ground below," they state.

The suit largely faults BP and Miken for negligence, blaming the defendants for not informing him of any potential dangers that come with using the scaffold.

"The defendants neither adequately warned the plaintiff of the conditions posing an unreasonable risk of harm to him, nor made those conditions reasonably safe; the unsafe condition being a space large enough through which a fully grown man could fall in the floor of an elevated scaffold," it argues.

"Moreover, both defendants negligently, and in violation of federal and state health and safety regulations, permitted the use of a scaffold that was dangerous to anyone who needed its use for the performance of their work."

The extent of Sanchez's injuries is not specified though the suit says the plaintiff was physically impaired and disfigured.

Consequently, Sanchez seeks damages for medical expenses, losses of earning capacity and wages, and mental anguish.

He also demands a jury trial.

Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner is presiding over the case.

Case No. 09CV0244

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