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Man Files Suit After Being Struck By Flying Fence Debris


Blog Category:
3/19/2009
Brent Adams
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Timothy Clay suffered personal injuries when a tractor ran over part of an old fence and threw a T-post at him as he was helping to harvest hay, according to a suit he filed. He claims the company responsible for clearing a recently created easement on the property is at fault due to failing to remove old fence debris.

Clay filed suit in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas on March 13 naming Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Smith Gas Field Services LLC, doing business as Smith Equipment Rental and Services, as defendants.

Clay’s father was helping him with the harvest. Clay was on foot as his father reversed the tractor. The complaint says that one of the mower blades on the tractor struck a T-post that was hidden on the ground, causing it to go airborne and strike Clay on the neck, back, and shoulder area.

The suit says that Clay does not own the field, but he had permission to cut and remove hay from the field and had done so more than 20 times before the incident took place.

The complaint says that the land’s owner executed a mineral lease with Anadarko Petroleum, allowing the company to create an easement to construct and maintain an oil pipeline.

In the process of the pipeline’s construction, the fence adjacent to the hay field was torn down by Anadarko. Smith Equipment Rental and Services was hired by Anadarko to remove the debris from the old fence and construct a new one.

According to Clay, Smith Equipment Rental and Services failed to completely remove all the debris form the old fence, including T-posts and other materials.

The suit alleges negligence on the part of Anadarko for failure to maintain its easement, failure to properly dispose of debris from the fence, failure to inspect Smith Equipment Rental and Services’ work, failure to warn of a potential hazard, and failure to act as a reasonably prudent manner. Clay claims the company is liable under premises liability. He says the mineral lease gave it the right to control the premises and it created an unreasonable risk of harm by failing to remove the fence debris.

The suit alleges negligence on the part of Smith Equipment Rental and Services for failure to completely remove debris from the fence, failure to warn, and failure to act in a reasonably prudent manner.

Clay seeks unspecified damages for physical and mental pain, suffering, and anguish, physical impairment, medical costs, property damages, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. He also seeks punitive damages.



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