Stairway collapse during home remodel leads to lawsuit

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Aug. 21, 2012, 8:00am


GALVESTON - Local resident Gary Lee Rodriguez blames Galveston local Thomas Proctor for a fall both of them took late last year while working at a house in Santa Fe.

A lawsuit filed Aug. 8 in Galveston County District Court states that on Dec. 4, 2011, Rodriguez and Proctor fell from the second floor of the subject property when a staircase they moved in order to access an unreachable part of the home collapsed.

Proctor emerged unscathed, but Rodriguez did not, according to the original petition.

Both parties were brought in by the homeowner, who is not a defendant in the case, to perform interior and exterior remodeling and were two weeks into the project when the event in question occurred.

Part of the work required getting into the area behind the staircase so Rodriguez and Proctor decided to move it to a new location nearby.

Rodriguez further explains that he was working on other things when the defendant called him into the house and instructed him to go up the staircase so he could assist him with a task on the second floor.

"The plaintiff assumed that Proctor had re-secured the staircase while he had been outside working," the suit says.

"The plaintiff came up the staircase and the entire staircase fell, slamming both the plaintiff and Proctor to the floor."

Rodriguez asserts he suffered "grievous bodily injuries".

He faults Proctor for failing to secure the stairs at the new location, failing to provide a safe place to work, failing to provide appropriate safety equipment, failing to warn, failing to properly supervise and failing to determine and provide that the walking/working services on which he was supposed to work had the strength and structural integrity to support him safely.

Consequently, Rodriguez seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Attorney Scott Arnold with the Law Offices of Scott Arnold P.C. in Houston is representing the complainant, and Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner is presiding over the case.

Case No. 12-cv-1791

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