Construction helper sues after walking into scaffolding

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Mar. 18, 2013, 10:24am

LUFKIN - After walking into scaffolding and suffering a head injury, a construction helper has filed a lawsuit against a general contractor claiming that he was injured by the contractor’s failure to provide a hard hat and adequate lighting. 

Leonard G. Duplantis filed suit against Paul James and Ann James on Feb. 19 in Tyler County Civil District Court. The defendants removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Lufkin Division on March 11.

According to the suit, Duplantis worked for the defendants as a construction helper associated with the construction of a new building. He worked on a daily basis, five days a week, eight hours a day.

On Feb. 23, 2011, Duplantis states he was carrying a large piece of material from one of end of the location to the other and struck his head on the bottom of scaffolding that had been erected in the center of the structure being built. The impact caused Duplantis to fall to the ground and allegedly suffer an open head and cervical spinal injury.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to provide a safe place to work and to warn or otherwise remedy known hazardous conditions which existed on the property, failing to provide proper safety equipment, including a hard hat and adequate lighting in the work place, and failing to adequately train and supervise its employee.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for unjust enrichment, interest, mental anguish, physical impairment, medical expenses, emotional distress, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, diminished quality of life and court costs.

Duplantis is represented by Houston attorney David P. Petersen.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 9:13-cv-00056

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