Valero takes exception to plaintiff’s chemical burn suit

By David Yates | Aug 17, 2015

Valero has answered a personal injury suit, asserting the claims alleged in the petition are not sufficient to mount a defense.

On May 20 Dustin Kendrick of Port Neches filed suit against Premcor Refining Group Inc. d/b/a Valero Port Arthur Refinery of San Antonio; and Repcon Inc. of Nederland in Jefferson County District Court, claiming negligence in a May 2015 incident.

According to the suit, Kendrick was working in the scope of his employment for WSI-AZZ Inc. on the premises of defendant Valero Refinery on or about May 10. When another worker opened a valve, a chemical was released, burning both the worker and Kendrick on their faces, arms and lungs.

Court records show Valero answered the suit on June 12, asserting a list of special exceptions, including an assertion that a petition must provide a statement of the causes of action that is sufficient to provide “fair notice” of the claims involved.

“The allegations of the petition cannot be so vague, indefinite, uncertain and/or confusing as to prevent the preparation of a proper and focused defendant,” the answer states.

Valero also asserts the plaintiff’s employer was enrolled in its ROCIP program; therefore, his claims are barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.

The complaint states that the defendant worsened the damage by having failed to monitor, warn, protect or evacuate the area in which the men were working.

Citing negligence and carelessness, Kendrick claims that the defendants failed to provide a safe workplace with adequate safety equipment and procedures and reasonable warning.

Kendrick alleges physical pain, suffering, and mental anguish; lost wages and earning capacity; impairment and disfigurement; and medical expenses. The plaintiff seeks actual and exemplary damages; compensation between $200,000 and $1 million; pre- and post-judgment interest; attorney’s fees; expenses, and costs.

The plaintiff is represented by David Wilson of Provost*Umphrey Law firm, Beaumont.

Valero is represented by Michael Eaves, attorney for the Beaumont law firm Calvert Eaves Clarke & Stelly.

Judge Kent Walston, 58th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. A-197141

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