Man sues after being burned at Port Arthur golf course

By Kelly Holleran | Aug 6, 2011

A Jefferson County man claims he sustained second degree burns after electrical equipment exploded as he performed work for the city of Port Arthur.

Ismael Loya and Jeanetta Walton filed a lawsuit July 25 in Jefferson County District Court against the city of Port Arthur, the city of Port Arthur Engineering Department and SKR Construction.

In his complaint, Loya alleges he was working at the pump station at the Babe Zaharias Golf Course in Port Arthur on Dec. 11, 2009, when the fire occurred.

"While Plaintiff was safely and prudently beginning his work, the equipment exploded due to an electrical surge, causing a flash fire," the suit states.

Immediately before his involvement in the flash fire, Loya had been directed by contractor SKR Construction and by the city's engineering department to test and replace two motor starters that had previously been installed by workers for SKR and the city, according to the complaint.

Prior to the commencement of Loya's work, the city and SKR approved inspection of the electrical circuitry in the breakers on which Loya began to work when the fire occurred, the complaint says.

Because of the fire, Loya claims he sustained second degree burns to his face, head, neck, hands and arms and incurred medical costs.

He blames the city for partially contributing to his burns, saying it negligently failed to warn Loya of a known hazardous condition of the equipment and failed to properly supervise Loya.

Loya also names SKR Construction as a defendant, saying it negligently failed to warn Loya of known hazards associated with work it instructed him to perform, failed to properly train him and failed to properly supervise him.

In his complaint, Loya seeks an unspecified judgment, plus interest at the legal rate, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Michael Nacol, Lori L. Brown and Jeff Musselwhite of the Law Offices of Michael Nacol in Houston will be representing him.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. A190-569

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