The Premcor Refinery Group, also known as Valero, is swapping counsel in a suit filed by Shane Ponder, who sued for injuries he allegedly received when hot oil sprayed him the face at the Port Arthur Valero refinery.

As previously reported, the suit was filed Dec. 9 in Jefferson County District Court.

On March 28 Valero filed a notice of substitution, replacing attorney Michael Eaves of Calvert Eaves Clarke & Stelly with Peter McLauchlan, court records show.

McLauchlan is an attorney for the Houston law firm Gardere Wynee Sewell.

The notice does not give a reason for the substitution.

The petition alleges that on Sept. 19, Ponder, a Leak Sealers employee, was repairing a flange that was leaking hot slurry oil at the Valero refinery.

Upon instruction, Ponder opened an injection valve and was immediately sprayed in the face with hot slurry oil mixed with leak sealant, suffering first and second degree burns to his face and left arm, the suit states.

Ponder alleges the defendants negligently failed to de-pressurize the line prior to authorizing the work.

He is suing for his alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages, plus all court costs.

Attorney David Dies of the Orange law firm Dies & Parkhurst represents him.

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

Case No. A191-450

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