BEAUMONT – A barge inspector is seeking a new trial of his suit, which sought punitive damages from a maritime company for injuries he received after tripping and falling because of an alleged lack of “inadequate lighting.”

Charlie Ducote filed suit against Enterprise Products Partners on July 22, 2015 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to his lawsuit, on Feb. 11, 2015, Coastal Gulf International employed Ducote as an inspector when he was dispatched to Enterprise’s dock in Beaumont to inspect barges.

“Defendant failed to provide adequate lighting and other necessary safety equipment, causing plaintiff to fall and suffer serious bodily injuries,” the original petition states, further adding that Enterprise allegedly negligently failed to train and supervise its employees.

Ducote also alleges Enterprise was grossly negligent because “it consciously disregarded” his safety by having him work in a dangerous area without proper lighting and safety equipment.

Court records show that on Nov. 18 Enterprise filed a motion for summary judgment, which was granted the following month.

Former Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, dismissed all claims with prejudice for both Enterprise Products and Enterprise Beaumont Marine West.

On Jan. 14, Ducote filed a motion for new trial, arguing that Beaumont Marine is a separate entity and did not move for summary judgment.

In addition to punitive damages, Ducote was suing for actual, consequential and compensatory damages, plus court costs.

He is represented by attorney Michael Pierce of the Houston law firm Pierce Skrabanek Bruera.

Case No. D-197369

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