David Yates Nov. 18, 2013, 4:21pm

Brint Construction has successfully designated UpanDown Industries as a responsible party in a suit claiming the plaintiff’s 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.

Court records show that on Oct. 17 Brint Construction and Byrom filed a motion to name UpanDown Industries as the responsible party.

The motion asserts that Brint Construction did not manufacture or install the lift or make any representations on its use, arguing that UpanDown Industries is the party that contributed to James’ harm.

On Nov. 4, Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, granted the motion, court papers say.

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, 2012, 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 Byrom, his father, 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 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 of Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell.

Case No. D194-305

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