Collapsed scaffold results in injury, lawsuit

By David Yates | Sep 17, 2007

Benny Agosto Jr.

Oscar Rodriguez climbed some distance up a scaffold and then decided to rest. As he did, he claims the scaffold "fell apart," causing him to fall 50 feet.

The fall resulted in a collapsed lung, broken collar bone, broken left leg, six broken ribs and pain in his lower back and shoulder.

Rodriguez filed a personal injury lawsuit against United Scaffolding Inc. with the Jefferson County District Court on Sept. 12.

According to the plaintiff's original petition, on Oct, 5, 2006, Rodriguez was told by his employer, Industrial Specialists, to dismantle a scaffold that had been erected by United Scaffolding. He was inside a tank at the Total Petrochemicals USA Inc., Port Arthur Refinery and after climbing up the scaffold "for some distance, he 'tied-off' to…take a short rest, at which time the scaffold fell apart."

The suit alleges that Rodriguez received no warnings of the "hazardous conditions" of the scaffold prior to the incident "and was without fault."

"The incident was proximately caused by the negligence of defendant," the suit said. "The condition of the scaffold in question was caused by…employees of United Scaffolding, who were at all times…responsible for properly building the scaffolding in a manner which was safe for its intended use."

The suit goes on to say United Scaffolding was allegedly negligent for failing to properly erect the scaffold, supervise its employees and failing to adhere to safety standards.

Rodriguez is suing for exemplary damages, plus past and future medical expenses, lost wages and mental anguish.

He is represented by attorney Benny Agosto Jr. of the Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels & Friend law firm.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, will preside over the case.

Case No. B180-010

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