Suit says man fell through rotten trailer floor

By Kelly Holleran | May 18, 2010

The wife of a deceased man claims her husband had to undergo spinal surgery after he fell through a rotted floor while working.

Faye Smith on behalf of her recently deceased husband, Willard Smith, filed a lawsuit May 5 in Jefferson County District Court against Modular Space Corp. and Thomas Sumlin.

Faye Smith claims her husband fell through a rotted floor of a Modular Space trailer on Oct. 28, 2008, which had been installed at Willard Smith's workplace a year before to serve as a break room.

"It was represented to Decedent's employer by Defendants, and/or their agents or servants that there were no soft spots or other dangerous condition then existing with regard to the trailer," the suit states. "Plaintiff would show that had Defendants' adequately inspected the trailer, the dangerous condition would have been discovered."

Because of the incident, Willard Smith incurred medical costs, including surgical costs to treat his spine; experienced extreme physical pain, disfigurement, suffering and mental anguish; and lost earnings, according to the complaint.

Faye Smith blames the defendants for causing her husband's injuries, saying they failed to provide a safe trailer, failed to properly maintain the trailer and failed to properly inspect the trailer.

Faye Smith seeks an unspecified judgment, plus interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Jill S. Chatelain of McPherson, Hughes, Bradley, Wimberley, Steele and Chatelain in Port Arthur will be representing her.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D186-799.

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