Joel Brakken Mar. 6, 2014, 1:16pm

A family is suing after their father is killed in a workplace accident. 

Maricruz Najera Arrazate, individually and as next friend of Lidia Velazquez Najera, a minor, Omar Velazquez Najera and Ivan Velazquez Najera filed a lawsuit Feb. 24 in the Houston Division of the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Texas against Rangeline Tapping Services Inc., citing gross negligence.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs are family members of Ranulfo Velazquez Perez who died in a workplace incident on Sept. 4, 2012, in Cut and Shoot. Texas.

The complaint says on that day, Velazquez Perez was working for Rangeline, cleaning and painting two 3500 lb. flanges/water valves on the outside of the defendant's facility at 13168 Highway 105 E.

The complaint states in order to paint the bottom section of the valve, the company owner, John Rokoczy, used a truck crane with overlapped layers of hoisting rope on the drum to lift each valve and place them upright. Rokoczy then instructed Velazquez Perez to install metal caps with bolts on one end of each valve and while doing so one of the water valves tipped over on top of Velazquez Perez, pinning him to the ground, according to the complaint.

The complaint says Velazquez Perez was conscious while pinned but had sustained blunt trauma to his chest and crushing injuries of his pelvis and was struggling to breathe.

According to the complaint, he was pronounced dead while receiving treatment at the hospital and a medical examiner determined his cause of death was from the blunt trauma and crushing injuries.

The plaintiffs are seeking an undisclosed amount of damages.

They are being represented in the case by attorneys Mark B. Blackburn, Blake C. Erskine Jr. and Timothy B. Moss of Erskine & Blackburn LLP.

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:14-cv-00442.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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