The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 26, 2013

Hearing slated this week for Kremlin elevator injuries

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — A hearing is scheduled Thursday afternoon in Garfield County District Court in a negligence lawsuit that stems from injuries to two then-17-year-old workers at a Kremlin grain elevator.

The families of Tyler Zander and Bryce Gannon, both of whom lost legs when they fell into the floor auger at Zaloudek Grain Co. in August 2011, claim five counts of negligence and seek punitive damages from the company.

Lawyers for the families have filed a motion for partial summary judgment asking District Judge Dennis Hladik to strike down the grain company’s defenses that the teens’ injuries were caused by their own negligence, that they assumed the risk of their injuries and that their injuries were caused by the negligence of others.

Michael Smith, lawyer for the families, wrote the grain company is not entitled to raise those defenses “because Zaloudek Grain Company failed to secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage for its employees.”

Lawyers for the grain company, in their response to the motion, allege they are entitled to make those claims because of Zaloudek Grain’s still-unresolved lawsuit against workers’ compensation provider CompSource Oklahoma.

“The issue of whether Zaloudek Grain Company secured workers’ compensation insurance for its employees … is pending in the Oklahoma County District Court,” wrote Tulsa lawyer Joseph Farris in his response to the family’s motion for partial summary judgment.