A worker checking trucks as they trucks as the entered a Motiva Enterprises refinery has filed a personal injury suit alleging that a driver intentionally jerked the truck forward, which caused her to fall and sustain personal injuries.


The suit was filed by Patricia Rodrigue on September 4 in the District Court of Jefferson County, Texas against Headwaters Construction Materials LLC and Motiva Enterprises LLC.


The original complaint claims that on September 5, 2006, Rodrigue was an employee of Compass Environmental Inc., working at the Motiva plant in Port Arthur, Texas. Part of her job was to inspect 18-wheelers carrying fly ash used for environmental remediation that were entering the plant.


On the day of the accident, court papers say that a truck owned by Headwaters Construction entered the plant and Rodrigue stood on the truck’s steps in order to check the paperwork of the driver. Allegedly, the driver popped the clutch, dumping her from the truck and causing her to fall into a ditch beside the roadway.


According to Rodrigue, she attempted to catch herself with her right hand and her right wrist “was literally folded back over itself.” She required a surgical procedure to repair her wrist, including the insertion of a titanium rod.

Rodrigue also claims that she suffered a full thickness tear of her right rotator cuff which has yet to be surgically repaired.


The complaint says that Rodrigue underwent evaluation on April 22 by request of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission and a doctor’s evaluation determined that her body as a whole had a five percent impairment as a “direct result of the work-related injury.”

The suit alleges negligence on the part of Headwaters Construction for the driver moving the truck before Rodrigue was able to dismount, failing to keep a proper lookout, popping the clutch and causing unexpected movement, and failing to follow normal routine.


The suit claims negligence on the part of Motiva Enterprises for failure to be aware that the ditch beside the roadway was “unreasonably deep” and posed an “unreasonable risk” of harm to workers in the area in addition to failure to properly maintain the ditch.

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