David Yates Jun. 25, 2013, 10:50am

A Beaumont man has responded to a motion to dismiss his suit, which claims his left arm was mutilated when a lifting device in his home malfunctioned.

As previously reported, James and Tricia Keene filed a lawsuit May 2 in Jefferson County District Court against Brint Construction and Clint Byrom.

Two weeks later, the owner of Brint Construction, Tim Byrom, filed a motion to dismiss, stating that his company did not install or recommend the lift, court papers say.

On June 4 the plaintiffs filed a response to the motion, asserting that more time is needed to conduct discovery to prove their allegations.

Court records further show that another defendant in the suit, Marine Lift & Dock Supply, filed a special exception on May 31, requesting that the plaintiffs amend their petition to state what James Keene was doing on the lift when it allegedly malfunctioned and injured him and to describe the malfunction in more detail.

The Keenes claim James Keene was using his EasyLift system at his beach house on Nov. 24 when it suddenly malfunctioned, causing his left arm to become trapped and mutilated.

The suit alleges that the Keenes had decided to install an EasyLift system in their beach home at Clint’s suggestion – an allegation that Tim denied in an interview with the Southeast Texas Record. Tim Byrom said the device the Keenes installed was a cargo lift and not an elevator designed to carry people.

The suit alleges the lift system malfunctioned when two lifting cables became completely detached from the car and the safety mechanism.

“Plaintiffs have been unable to and continue to be unable to fully enjoy their beach house since the incident made the basis of this lawsuit as the equipment has not been replaced and their health conditions continue to worsen which make it difficult, if not impossible, to climb stairs,” the suit states.

In addition to his injuries, James Dennis Keene incurred substantial medical costs, suffered mental anguish and disfigurement and lost wages because of the incident, the complaint says.

The Keenes allege misrepresentation, negligent undertaking and breach of warranty against the defendants.

They seek actual damages in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus pre- and post-judgment interest at the highest legal rate, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Brian D. Sutton of Sutton and Jacobs in Beaumont represents them.

Brint Construction is represented by Mitch Toups.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. D194-305

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