A Jefferson County district judge has entered a Temporary Restraining Order to preserve the site of a railroad incident that led to the death of Richard Garza. The request for the order was made by Paul ‘Chip’ Ferguson, managing partner of Beaumont’s The Ferguson Law Firm, LLP, on behalf of Mr. Garza’s widow, Sharon Delaine Garza.
Richard Garza was a 66-year-old conductor for PSC Group, a railroad company working inside an Exxon Mobil facility. Mr. Garza had been assigned to the night shift and, in the early morning hours of October 28, 2022, a string of rail cars backed over him. He was found beneath a rail car’s wheels and required a hoist to remove him.
“The loss of life, at any time, is traumatic,” Ferguson said. “When is it so sudden, so unexpected, and so preventable – as this loss was – the emotional burden on the family is immense. Ms. Garza, as you may expect is devastated and, in many ways, lost.” Ferguson said the purpose of the Temporary Restraining Order was two-fold: (1) preserve the site and (2) preserve any evidence that would show how and why this occurred. “We anticipate that we will be allowed to enter the facility in the very near future. Counsel for both Exxon Mobil and PSC Group have been cooperative in this regard.” From there, Ferguson added, the purpose is to quickly determine how and why this occurred .
Ferguson also noted that multiple governmental entities were called to the scene. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office responded first, followed by investigators from the National Transportation Board (NTSB), OSHA and the National Railroad Administration (NRA). Ferguson commented, “First, all indications are that the Sheriff’s Office did an excellent job in responding and documenting the scene. That will be most helpful. Behind them, there were several federal agencies and the investigation, as we understand it, will be run by the NTSB. That’s fine, but the foundation goes back to the excellent work from Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.”
The case is Cause No. B-210,709; Sharon Delaine Garza vs. Exxon Mobil Oil Corporation, et al – in the 60th Judicial District Court of Jefferson County. The Honorable Justin Sanderson is presiding.