Personal injury suit alleges plastic beach chair not properly maintained

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 20, 2009, 3:14pm

GALVESTON � A British man's visit to a beach house on the Bolivar Peninsula in the spring of 2007 ended in a personal injury lawsuit against a Houston couple.

Julian Bruce of Horsham, England, says he and his wife were guests at Michael and Debra Taylor's vacation home in Gilchrist on May 13, 2007, when he experienced a fall on their veranda.

Bruce claims an outdoor chair on which he was about to sit broke underneath him.

"As he sat down, the plastic veranda chair broke and collapsed beneath him, causing Mr. Bruce to hit the deck and suffer injuries to his hip, pelvis, and back," the suit, which was filed in Galveston County District Court on May 13, says.

It adds the chair "was structurally unsound, dilapidated, and so poorly maintained that it was unable to support the weight of the plaintiff or any male of average build."

The Taylors are accused of neglecting to take care of the allegedly defective chair as well as "advertising the beach house for rental while knowing that its veranda chairs were in poor condition."

"The defendants did not exercise reasonable care to reduce or eliminate the risk," the original petition says. "This duty includes the duties to inspect, warn, or to cure."

Swede's Beach Properties Inc., the home's real estate broker, joins the Taylors as a defendant in the case.

Bruce alleges that he endured anxiety, pain, and illness, having to seek medical treatment in two continents.

Consequently, the plaintiff seeks damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and losses of wages and earning capacity.

He also demands a jury trial.

The Woodlands attorney John W. Ghezzi is representing Bruce.

Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

Case No. 09CV0720

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