A Louisiana man claims a forklift operator crushed his left side after dropping a 2,000-pound metal toolbox on him.

and his wife say a forklift operator crushed the man's left side after accidentally dropping a 2,000-pound metal toolbox on him.

Nicholas Senette and his wife, Heidi, filed a lawsuit June 21 in Jefferson County District Court against Signal International LLC.

According to the complaint, Senette drove his 18-wheeler rig loaded with various types of oil field equipment to the Signal International shipyards in Port Arthur. The truck contained items such as welding machines, large metal baskets and large metal cementer's tool boxes that weigh about 2,000 pounds.

As Senette was unbinding straps that secured the equipment to the rig, a Signal employee began removing the equipment from the truck, according to the complaint.

"While the Plaintiff, Nicholas Senette, was still in the process of unbinding the equipment on the trailer, Signal International's forklift operator, suddenly and without warning, knocked one of the large metal tool boxes off of the trailer, causing the 2,000 lb metal tool box to strike the Plaintiff on the left side of his body, knocking him to the ground, crushing his leg, and causing severe and painful injuries," the suit states.

Because of the incident, the Senettes incurred medical costs; experienced pain, suffering and mental anguish; lost wages and his earning capacity; suffered disability and an impaired enjoyment of living; and lost consortium, the complaint says.

They blame Signal for causing the accident, saying the company or its employees negligently failed to maintain a proper lookout, failed to ensure the area was cleared before beginning the offload process, failed to keep the forklift under proper control, failed to see what should have been seen and failed to do what should have been done to avoid the accident.

In their complaint, the Senettes are seeking an unspecified judgment, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief to which they may be entitled.

Robert Grossman of Grossman Law Firm in Humble will be representing them.

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

Jefferson County District Court case number: E187-115.

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