Donut shop says blame lies elsewhere in $1M suit over ladder collapse

David Yates Aug. 17, 2015, 9:59am


An area donut shop is saying a Hardin County, who sued after falling off a ladder, is the negligent party.

Dalbert Boyette filed against Happy Donuts in Jefferson County District Court on May 5, alleging liability in a November 2014 incident.

According to the suit, Boyette was present at the defendant’s Port Arthur location on or about Nov. 25, 2014, when the manager asked him to change a light bulb.

The court filing states that the manager provided a ladder to use; and that while the plaintiff was changing the bulb, the ladder collapsed underneath him, pinning his right leg and allegedly causing multiple fractures.

Court records show that on June 22 Martha Hem, the owner of Happy Donuts, answered the suit, asserting a general denial and maintaining the plaintiff was guilty of negligence in causing the incident.

The defendant also asserts that a third party may be responsible for causing the incident.

The suit contends that liability for the event lies solely with the donut shop manager. Alleging negligence in providing a ladder that was unsafe and failed to support the plaintiff; neglecting to supervise the plaintiff in the event of its failure; and failing to act as a reasonably prudent business would have acted under similar circumstances.

Alleging past and future pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses and physical impairment, the plaintiff seeks compensation in an amount in excess of $1 million, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees, expenses and costs.

Boyette is represented by attorney Cade Bernsen and Cody Rees of The Bernsen Law Firm in Beaumont.

Happy Donuts is represented by Mark Lambert, attorney for the Beaumont law firm Benckenstein, Norvell & Nathan.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is assigned to the case.

Jefferson County District Court Case E-197081

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