Paralyzed man's suit blames truss collapse for fall

Kelly Holleran Mar. 11, 2009, 10:35am

A Harris County construction worker claims he became paralyzed after falling from the roof of a Beaumont apartment building, and blames his injuries on an allegedly faulty truss.

Merced Fernandez claims he was installing roof joists on Beaumont Trace Apartments on Nov. 20, 2008, when a truss he stepped on broke and collapsed, causing him to fall 10 feet.

Because of the fall, Fernandez was left a paraplegic and suffered physical pain and mental anguish, incurred medical costs and lost wages, according to the complaint filed Feb. 26 in Jefferson County District Court.

He also claims he suffered scarring, disfigurement and physical impairment.

Centerpoint Builders, Beaumont Trace Apartments and Trussway Holdings are named as defendants in the suit.

The lawsuit alleges the companies committed the following acts of negligence:

Created an unsafe condition that caused Fernandez's injury;

  • Failing to protect Fernandez from the unsafe condition;
  • Failing to correct the unsafe condition;
  • Failing to warn Fernandez of the unsafe condition;
  • Failing to provide Fernandez with a safe place to work;
  • Failing to provide Fernandez with proper training;
  • Failing to provide Fernandez with proper supervision;
  • Failing to provide him with proper tools;
  • Failing to properly supervise him in the safe conduct of his work;
  • Failing to provide adequate fall protection;
  • Using inferior building materials;
  • Violating O.S.H.A. provisions;
  • Violating ANSI provisions; and
  • Retaining employees that were not qualified to perform the services at hand.

    Fernandez is seeking unspecified exemplary and actual damages, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief to which he is entitled.

    He is represented by Keith M. Fletcher of Simmons and Fletcher in Houston.

    The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

    Case No. D183-385

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