Family members of deceased iron worker looking for additional facts

Kelly Holleran Jul. 20, 2013, 2:48pm

The wife and minor children of a recently deceased man are seeking additional facts behind their husband’s and father’s death after they say a large piece of iron landed on his head. 

Eva E. Hernandez, Mayra Hernandez, Anayeli Hernandez and Ofelia Hernandez filed a lawsuit July 1 in Jefferson County District Court against Heavy Equipment Movers and Installation, German Pellets Texas, Jimmy Costlow and William Russell Lem.

In their complaint, the Hernandezes allege their father and husband, Juan Antonio Hernandez, was working for Mason Construction at the German Pellets facility located within the Port of Beaumont on June 26.

During Juan Hernandez’s working hours, employees for HEMI Systems were attempting to operate a JLG man lift, according to the complaint. The man lift, however, became stuck on a neighboring building, the suit states.

“Defendant’s employees negligently attempted to free the manlift causing a large piece of angle iron to fall approximately 50 feet and strike decedent fatally injuring him,” the complaint says. “Mr. Hernandez expired on the way to the hospital.”

The plaintiffs are asking the court to allow their lawyers to examine any evidence associated with the incident, including the piece of iron that fell, the building upon which the man lift was stuck and the location of Juan Hernandez when the iron fell.

They are also blaming the defendants for contributing to Juan Hernandez’s death, saying HEMI negligently failed to properly train and supervise its employees, failed to adequately rope off a safe distance to prevent injuries to other workers and failed to adequately warn of a dangerous condition.

German Pellets, where the work was being performed, negligently failed to supervise the project.

Costlow and Lem, who were working at the site, negligently failed to follow proper safety procedures, failed to adequately rope off a safe distance to prevent injuries to workers in nearby areas and failed to warn of dangerous conditions, according to the complaint.

Because of their father’s and husband’s death, the plaintiffs suffered emotional pain, torment and suffering. They also lost his inheritance, companionship, advice, society, counsel, maintenance and support and suffered mental anguish, the suit states.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs are asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order that would prevent the defendants from destroying or tampering with any evidence that may be used in court. They are also seeking actual and exemplary damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest at the legal rate, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Christopher S. Smith of Bush Lewis in Orange and Stephen C. Howard of the Law Office of Stephen C. Howard in Orange will be representing them.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Case No.  B194-495

More News