30-foot fall from broken ladder results in litigation

David Yates Jul. 6, 2010, 7:38am

Although he protested, John Carpenter claims his employer told him to climb up a "worn ladder" or lose his job. When he reached about 30 feet, the ladder collapsed.

Carpenter filed suit against Tate Floyd, owner of Better Built Metal Buildings, on June 23 in Orange County District Court, claiming the three-story fall "virtually destroyed" his heel bone.

Court documents show that on Dec. 4, 2009, Floyd supplied Carpenter and his coworkers with a 20-foot extension ladder that looked "old, worn and weak."

"Although plaintiff questioned the defendant as to the adequacy of the ladder ... he was told by his employer that, 'If you don't go up the ladder, someone else will," insinuating that ... if the plaintiff refused he could have been discharged," the suit states.

"As the plaintiff reached a level approximately 25 to 30 feet above the floor the ladder collapsed in its center causing the plaintiff to fall ... and shatter his heel on his right foot, virtually destroying the heel bone."

Floyd is not a subscriber of the Texas Workers' Compensation Act. Carpenter is suing for medical expenses and all other damages allowable under law.

He is represented by Port Arthur attorney Carl Parker.

The case has been assigned to Judge Pat Clark, 128th District Court.

Case No. A-100304

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