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Civil trial resumes today

 

JENNA-LEY HARRISON

Staff Writer

 

A civil trial that began late last month will resume in Lincoln County Superior Court today after a two-day hiatus.

Both sides are expected to give closing arguments in the case. However, a defense attorney may present new evidence, trying to show again why his client, Petroleum Equipment and Services, Inc., is not responsible for the 2008 death of eastern Lincoln County teen Nathan Coppick.

The 19-year-old died in an explosion while fueling an 80-foot vessel at Hobbs Westport Marina in Denver.

Nozzles attached to the gas pumps at the site were deemed illegal at the time of the blast and violated state building and fire codes.

The plaintiff in the case, the victim’s parents, is suing PES, who often did installation and maintenance work at the marina, for installing the nozzles, which were believed to have leaked gas during the fueling process, contributing to the fatal incident.

The company’s vice president has denied the claim and said PES is not responsible.

Since the first day of the long-awaited trial, emotions have run high in the courtroom as Coppick’s parents, friends and former teachers took the stand along with each of the owners of the boat, marina and PES.

The judge even spoke harsh words to the defense attorney on Friday, pointing out his consistently crafty way, calling him a “liar.”

The plaintiff also sued Westport and the vessel’s owner, but each have since settled out of court.

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