A Union member who was cited earlier this week as the victim of an incident involving him and another non-union Prysmian Group employee is suing the Prysmian Group plant in Scottsville over the incident.
The plaintiff, who was identified by a Union Representative as Arlyn Mullins, is suing the company for damages over $250,000 but not more than $1,000,000, after the incident Tuesday morning.
Harrison County Sheriff’s Office Police Information Officer Jay Webb said that at about 7 a.m. Tuesday, Mullins attempted to step in front of a vehicle entering the plant with a worker who is not on strike.
Mullins allegedly blocked the vehicle’s path entering the plant, and swung a sign at the vehicle. Mullins also said that the vehicle struck him as it entered the driveway.
A passenger in the vehicle exited the vehicle after a verbal altercation occurred. The passenger then allegedly hit Mullins and then got into the vehicle and drove into the plant.
Webb continued to say that that was when deputies were called to the scene, and the passenger of the vehicle who was accused of hitting Mullins was issued a citation for a Class C assault and given directions to contact the justice of the peace court for further information.
“In cases of this type of Class C assault, it is not uncommon to issue a citation,” Webb explained.
Prysmian Group Head of Marketing and Communication Rebecca Mesnil said, “We are aware of an incident involving a Prysmian Group employee. We don’t condone violent behavior and are currently investigating the situation,”
She continued, “Regarding the current strike, we are hopeful we can come to a resolution.”
Union representative Earl Roberts said that the sheriff’s report is not entirely accurate, stating that when the vehicle drove into the driveway it did so at a high rate of speed, striking Mullins before he was able to move out of the way.
Roberts said that because he was struck by the vehicle, Mullins lost his balance and fell against the car, which is when his sign struck the vehicle unintentionally.
The passenger of the car then got into a verbal argument with Mullins, then exited the vehicle and struck him, before getting back into the car and driving into the plant.
“We have had this problem for a long time, people driving into the driveway at a very high rate of speed; they knew about this too,” Roberts said.
A draft of Mullins original petition against Prysmian Group was sent to the News Messenger by Ashley Ramirez, and states that Mullins is suing the company for negligence, gross negligence, carious and derivative liability and damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity and more.
The lawsuit, along with Roberts’, stress that the Union strike has been peaceful for the entire three weeks it has been going on, and that never once has the Union or Union workers acted violently.
The lawsuit states that negligence is due to failure to provide proper security, among others, with gross negligence due to the fact that the company had “actual and subjective awareness of the risks but proceeded with conscious indifference to the rights, safety and welfare of others in the vicinity.”
The lawsuit continued that Mullins “will show that defendants (Prysmian Group) were aware that they needed to provide sufficient security and were on notice of such need based on the amount of prior instances of provocation at the Scottsville manufacturing plant as well as other locations in Texas.”
The lawsuit also claims carious and derivative liability due to the company’s responsibility for the actions of its employees, while working on company property where the incident took place.
The lawsuit follows that the only incident occurred during the three-week strike organized by Prysmian Group employees part of the local UAW Union when contract negotiations failed to reach a compromise.
On Monday this week a tour bus full of supporters for the Union members from other cities across the state, including Fort Worth and Dallas, came to Scottsville to participate in the strike with local Union members.
Roberts said that all of the Union members came out to show their support for the peaceful protest the group has been organizing 24/7 for the last three weeks.
This story is ongoing and will continue to be updated at www.marshallnewsmessenger.com.