Roofer alleging lack of safety equipment sues employer for $500,000

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 13, 2010, 9:38am

GALVESTON - A Harris County laborer claims he was injured while working on a home last summer because he was not provided with any safety equipment. He is suing his employer for $500,000.

Petronillo Miranda accuses John C. Viggiano, individually and doing business as Martorell Roofing and Sheet Metal, of failing to provide proper tools as well as a safe work environment when Miranda was tasked to tear wood siding from a home in July.

The suit was filed Jan. 4 in Galveston County District Court.

A roofer by trade, Miranda states he regularly did roof work for Viggiano's home repair and remodeling business, and had no experience doing siding work.

However according to the suit, on July 10 he was supplied with tools and told to begin removing the wood siding from the house. Miranda claims Viggiano explained how the work was to be performed.

"As he was completing the work, the plaintiff fell off of the ladder provided by the defendant," the original petition says. "The plaintiff was severely injured as a result of the fall."

Miranda alleges Viggiano failed to provide materials that would have prevented the incident.

"There was no scaffolding or proper ladder provided for the plaintiff, there was no safety harness or belts provided and there was no training provided on how to safely do the work that the defendant had the plaintiff doing," the suit says.

The plaintiff seeks damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, impairment, medical expenses and lost wages.

Houston attorneys Norman L. Straub and Jonathan B. Zumwalt are representing Miranda.

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

Case No. 10CV0001

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