Counsel swapped in wrongful death suit filed over poisonous gas exposure

By David Yates | Feb 9, 2011


CES Environmental Services has swapped counsel in a suit filed by the family of Joey Sutter, who allegedly died after being exposed to poisonous gas.

As previously reported, Elizabeth Sutter, Joey Sutter's wife; Shurand Edwards, his mother; and Matthew Garrett, his son; filed a lawsuit July 20, 2009, in Jefferson County District Court.

Court records show Joey Sutter was attempting to perform work for CES on a dome lid that contained a hazardous concentration of hydrogen sulfide on Dec. 18, 2009, when he was asphyxiated and poisoned due to hydrogen sulfide inhalation.

On Jan. 28, CES filed an unopposed motion to substitute counsel, asking the court that Charles Hurd and Lee Thibodeaux of the Houston law firm Fulbright & Jaworski be permitted to withdraw and replaced by Houston attorney George Pappas of Sheehy, Ware & Pappas.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, granted the motion Jan. 31, court records show.

In their suit, Joey Sutter's family alleges CES negligently failed to properly inspect the dome, monitor the contents and provide him with reasonably protective equipment.

"Defendant breached the duty of ordinary care by exposing an unknowing Decedent Joey Sutter to the hazardous chemicals within the dome," the complaint says.

The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified judgment, including mental anguish damages, court costs, interest and other relief to which they are entitled.

James E. Payne and Jennifer Job Seale of Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont represent them.

Case No. A184-521

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