Molly English-Bowers Sep. 22, 2015, 12:15pm


A Beaumont hospital is suing a contractor, a subcontractor and a subcontractor's employee, alleging damage caused during a renovation project.

Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas in Beaumont filed a lawsuit Sept. 10 in Jefferson County District Court against SETX Environmental, doing business as ASE Services, Neil Sanders Inc. and Juan Carlos Zuniga, alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, Baptist Hospitals hired ASE to complete a renovation project and, due to the scope of the project, Sanders was hired as a subcontractor and Zuniga was one of Sanders' employees. The suit says on Jan. 11, 2014, Zuniga was hanging drywall and, at the direction of ASE and Sanders, Zuniga used a heat gun to speed the drying process, which triggered the interior emergency sprinkler system, causing substantial damage to the facility.

As a result, the suit says, the plaintiff incurred substantial costs associated with property damage as well as income loss. The lawsuit charges ASE with negligent hiring, supervision and training and negligent control, and charges ASE, Sanders and Zuniga with negligence.

Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas seeks monetary relief of more than $1 million and a jury trial. It is represented by attorneys Thomas H. Cook Jr. and Andrew A. Howell of  Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason in Dallas, and Patricia D. Chamblin of Mehaffy Weber in Houston.

Jefferson County District Court case number E-197540.

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