Three companies blamed for man's drowning

By Kelly Holleran | Feb 21, 2013

The family of a man who allegedly drowned after being struck by a flailing hose seeks exemplary damages for the man’s death.

The family of a man who allegedly drowned after being struck by a flailing hose seeks exemplary damages for the man’s death.

Tiffany Powell and Melanie Jensen filed a lawsuit Feb. 6 in Jefferson County District Court against National Pump and Compressor, Caprock Energy Services and Chesapeake Energy Corp.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs allege Gaylon Taylor was working for Caprock and was assigned to pump water from a large water pit at Chesapeake by using a Pioneer Prime Series End-Suction Centrifugal Pump.

National Pump and Compressor had supplied the pump and had attached a discharge manifold, which consisted of two 8-inch lines and one 4-inch line, according to the complaint.

While Taylor was attempting to begin his task, the water pressure suddenly built up, becoming too intense, the suit states.

“The four-inch discharge hose began to wave through the air, hitting Gaylon on the head and knocking him into a water retention pond, where he drowned,” the complaint says.

Because of Taylor’s death, the plaintiffs claim they have incurred funeral and burial costs and have lost his companionship and society.

They blame Caprock for gross negligence, saying it failed to provide a safe work environment, failed to provide safe work equipment, failed to provide adequate assistance, failed to properly secure the recirculation hose and failed to provide proper procedures for employees.

The plaintiffs also name Chesapeake as a defendant, accusing it of premises liability, saying it failed to equip its premises with adequate safety features, failed to correct dangerous conditions, failed to put up warning signs, failed to provide adequate instructions to people on its property, failed to instruct its employees to maintain a hazard-free environment and failed to supervise employees to ensure the safety of everyone on its premises.

National Pump and Compressor is accused of products liability for allegedly failing to use a hose that had a safer design, according to the complaint.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs seek exemplary damages, plus a judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Jeff Benton and Daryoush Toofanian of Rad Law Firm in Dallas will be representing them.

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

Case No. D193-899

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