LeTourneau University student Paul Manley has filed a personal injury suit against the university, alleging that during a course that teaches welding, he was attempting to maneuver the torch for the first time when it twisted and caused his shirt to catch fire.
In the suit Manley filed on October 21 in the Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas, he claims the college should have required that students wear flame-retardant protective clothing or aprons.
As a freshman engineering student at LeTourneau in the fall of 2007, Manley was enrolled in a course entitled “Manufacturing Process,” an introductory welding course.
According to Manley, despite the fact that he had received very little safety training or supervision, he was using a welding torch for the first time by November. He claims that when the tubes twisted in his hands, causing his shirt to catch fire.
Manley claims the incident caused him to suffer burn injuries to his torso, arm, neck, and face. He claims that at least one other student was burned in a similar manner prior to the incident.
The suit alleges negligence on the part of the university for failure to maintain a safe working/learning environment, failure to provide safe equipment and proper safety clothing, failure to implement a safety program, failure to properly supervise and train students on safety procedures, failure to follow university safety policies, failure to warn of the dangerous condition, failure to prevent the dangerous condition, requiring Manley to perform duties outside of his training or abilities, and failure to reduce or eliminate risks posed by an unreasonably dangerous condition.
Manley seeks damages for medical costs, lost wages, lost earning capacity, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent disability, disfigurement, and physical impairment.