Kyle Barnett Dec. 3, 2013, 5:15pm

GRETNA – An engineer who was working as a quality assurance representative on a pump project claims he was severely injured when a pile driver broke and a piece of metal flew off it and hit him in the head.

Steven Buell, and wife Kara, filed suit against M.R. Pittman Group LLC, PCCP Constructors A Joint Venture and Southern Earth Sciences Inc. in the 24th Judicial District Court on Nov. 12.

Buell alleges that he was at the 17th Street Pump Station in Metairie on Oct. 12 and sitting 30 to 40 feet away from a test pile when suddenly a piece of metal was ejected from the pile diver and struck him in the forehead. The plaintiff claims that M.R. Pittman Group LLC designed and constructed the metal test frame. Buell claims that a component of the pile driver failed causing the metal to fly off and strike him resutling in severe bodily injuries to his head, face, brain and left eye that required emergency medical treatment and surgery.

The defendant is accused of failing to properly design the pile load-testing apparatus, failing to properly construct the pile load-testing apparatus, failing to inspect equipment, utilizing equipment that was beyond its useful life, failing to utilize safeguards to protect against flying debris, failing o operate testing equipment, failing to train employees to conduct operations in a safe manner, failing to warn plaintiff of the dangers of equipment failure and failing to provide a safe work environment.

Damages in excess of $75,000 are sought for physical pain and suffering, future disability, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, loss of economic opportunity, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, scarring and disfigurement.

Buell is represented by Michael K. Cox of Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division I Judge Nancy A. Miller.

Case no. 732-840.

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