Refinery worker blames scaffold builders for hazardous walkway

By Marilyn Tennissen | Dec 21, 2009

A Bridge City man doing construction work at a local refinery claims he was injured when he fell over materials left in the way by men building a nearby scaffold.

On Jan. 21, 2008, Clayton Collins says he was employed by Newtron Inc. doing construction work on a unit at the Chevron facility in Port Arthur.

"He was proceeding to the top of a tower and was caused to fall over scaffolding poles or similar materials which obstructed the walking area of the tower platform," the original complaint states.

The suit alleges the materials had been placed in the area by employees from United Scaffolding, who where building a scaffold on an adjacent unit at the Chevron facility. United Scaffolding was doing contract work at Chevron for Turner Industries.

Collins claims the fall caused severe and permanent bodily injuries.

He filed a personal injury suit against United Scaffolding and Turner Industries on Dec. 15 in Jefferson County District Court.

The plaintiff alleges the following acts of negligence on the part of the defendants:

  • Improperly assembling, erecting and/or securing the scaffolding;
  • Failing to provide sufficient training and instruction to its agents;
  • Failing to warn the plaintiff of measures to protect himself from harm;
  • Failing to properly inspect the scaffolding as it was being constructed;
  • Failing to correct the dangerous condition which existed with the scaffolding construction;
  • Failing to warn plaintiff that a dangerous condition existed which required extra care to be taken by him while working in the area;
  • Failing to properly train its employees in recognition of hazards;
  • Failing to promulgate safety practices and administer a proper safety program designed to prevent this type of incident;
  • Failing to enforce proper safety codes, rules, standards and practices;
  • Failing to properly instruct and properly supervise;
  • Failing to ensure the safety of the workers in the general area of the scaffolding construction; and
  • Committing various acts or omissions of negligence to be specified at time of trial.

    Collins is seeking compensation for past and future medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, loss of income and earning capacity and physical impairment.

    Tim Ferguson of Ferguson Firm in Beaumont is representing the plaintiff.

    The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

    Case No. D185-481

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