Instead of taking its chances in a court in Jefferson County, Texas, the last of three defendants in a personal injury suit chose to settle with a man who alleged that his back was injured by vibrations from a Bobcat.

On October 20, the case of Mark Self vs. Premcor et al came to a close, mere days before a trial against Newtron Inc., the final defendant in the suit, was set to begin.

The trial was set for October 27. The settlement amount was not made public.

Self said that he had received insurance benefits for the injury, but was no longer able to work. According to court papers, he sought damages for past and future lost wages and mental anguish in the suit.

Self’s 2004 suit named Premcor, along with Newtron and Nationsrent of Texas, as defendants. He filed the suit after straining his back during the course of operating a Bobcat skidsteer at a Premcor refinery.

Premcor had contacted Self’s employer, Barnett Construction Co., about breaking up some concrete piers. He began complaining of experiencing some back pain on May 1, 2004. He filed suit in August 2004, claiming negligence on the part of Premcor and Newtron for failure to provide him with a safe work place and allowing him to work on a dangerous vibrating machine. His suit also blamed Nationsrent for placing the Bobcat in the stream of commerce.

Premcor and Nationsrent chose to settle last year, but Newtron continued fighting and filed a summary judgment motion asking that the judge recognize that Newtron had no written contract with Self’s employer or premises liability. The motion was rejected and Newtron finally gave in and settled.

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