Suit alleges safety devices failed causing worker to fall to his death

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Mar. 6, 2008, 4:00am

While employed by Gritz Towers in Goliad, Brandon Driggers worked at high altitudes constructing and maintaining communication towers. When attempting to place a cross member on a tower, the 29 year old fell to his death.

His wife believes an Elk River tower position kit attached to his lanyard fastened to the tower contained a defective hook. She believes that when Driggers attempted to place the beam, he positioned a side load on the defective hook, allowing him to roll out of his safety gear and fall to his death.

Wife Ashley Driggers, individually and on behalf of her son, and ex-wife Johnna Taylor, on behalf of her two sons, filed a product liability suit against Elk River Inc. and Pensafe Inc. on March 5, in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Causes of action filed against the defendants include negligence and strict liability. Within the complaint, the plaintiffs argue Elk River negligently assembled and distributed a position kit that included a defective hook not capable of withstanding side loads.

The suit also alleges Pensafe negligently manufactured, designed and distributed a hook that did not have the stress tolerance to assure the safety of its use.

The suit seeks damages for the deceased's mental anguish, pain and suffering and for the plaintiffs' pecuniary loss, loss of companionship, mental anguish and loss of inheritance.

Attorney John Jack Walker III of the Tyler law firm Martin and Walker P.C. and attorney Blake Bailey of the Tyler Bailey Law Firm are representing the plaintiffs and requesting a trial by jury.

Case No: 2:08cv00096

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