Crushed finger leads to suit against construction company

David Yates Mar. 24, 2008, 6:47am

Claiming he was "rushed" by his employer, Crispin Chavez crushed his finger with a sledge hammer while tearing down 2x4 boards. Chavez is suing David Gracedel Custom Homes for failing to provide him with a safe place to work.

His suit was filed in the Jefferson County District Court on March 19.

According to Chavez's petition, he worked for Gracedel constructing homes. On Sept. 29, 2007, Chavez was working at Gracedel's personal residence, tearing down a wooden structure surrounding a concrete bulkhead they were building.

"During that time, Gracedel had a piece of equipment there to move dirt in behind the bulkhead," the suit said. "Gracedel was rushing Chavez to get the (wood) torn down in order to move the dirt with the equipment (because) the longer Gracedel had the equipment, the more it cost him."

The suit is not clear on what happened next, but apparently as Chavez was tearing off the wooden 2x4s with a 26 pound sledge hammer, one board flew back towards the hammer and somehow crushed Chavez's finger.

"The incident and injuries � were not caused by Chavez � through any fault or negligence on (his) part, but were caused solely by the acts, wrongs and omissions of Gracedel," the suit said, adding that Gracedel failed to provide Chavez with a safe work place and proper safety equipment.

Chavez is suing for past and future pain, mental anguish, impairment, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life and compensatory damages.

He is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by Pat McGinnis, Attorney at Law.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. 181-450

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