Loading dock worker slips on pellets, sues in federal court

Steve Gonzalez Aug. 14, 2007, 6:26am

A man injured after falling off a loading dock filed a personal injury suit in U.S. District Court Aug. 7, against Warehouse Services, GE Plastics and Centralia Terminal Company seeking damages in excess of $225,000.

Ronald Riley of Salem works for Mid States Express at Centralia Terminal which is used as a terminal for freight shipped by tractor trailers owned by Mid States Express.

He is an outbound operations supervisor at the facility located at 650 West Noleman Street in Centralia.

According to the complaint, GE Plastics contracted with Mid States Express to ship plastic products, including boxes with plastic pellets.

Warehouse Services contracted with GE Plastics to provide packaging, inspection, and loading services at GE Plastics, Mt. Vernon Ind., facility.

Riley claims that on Aug. 8, 2005, he was injured on the loading dock when he slipped on plastic pellets manufactured by GE Plastics which caused his feet to slide out from under him.

"As plaintiff's feet slipped forward, his heels became lodged on a loose and bent up angle plate at the edge of the dock, causing plaintiff to whip forward, off the dock and onto the ground below," the complaint states.

Riley claims Warehouse Services breached its duty of ordinary care to ensure that it packaged, inspected and loaded the boxes in a manner that would not cause plastic pellets to escape from their containers.

According to Riley, the fall caused permanent and painful injuries to his left shoulder and elbow, both wrists and knees and his lower back.

He claims his various injuries caused him to suffer pain, suffering, disability, medical expenses and lost wages.

Riley is represented by David Blunt and Paul Slocomb of Edwardsville.

The case has been assigned to Chief District Judge G. Patrick Murphy.

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