Although a Jefferson County jury found that United Scaffolding was only 5 percent responsible for a worker's head injury, jurors still awarded plaintiff Louie Meiers more than $4.1 million in damages.
The trial of Louie Meiers vs. United Scaffolding began March 21 in Judge Bob Wortham's 58th District Court and ended Monday, with the jury dishing out $4,176,000 in damages.
On May 31, 2006, while working near a scaffold, Meiers suffered a head injury when a co-worker inadvertently pushed a 4-by-4 inch board off the scaffold's walkway. He filed suit a year later.
Meiers and his fellow Performance Contractors employees were working at the Valero refinery in Jefferson County when the incident occurred.
According to the charge of the court, the jury found that Performance Contractors, Meiers employer at the time, was 80 percent responsible for the incident. Jurors also found Jacobs Engineering, a third party to the suit, 15 percent responsible.
Jurors assigned the remaining 5 percent of responsibility to United Scaffolding.
When asked what sum of money would compensate Meiers for United Scaffoldings' alleged negligence, jurors awarded him $1,500,000 in mental anguish damages, $790,000 in medical expenses, $1,293,000 in lost wages and $593,000 for his impairment.
Jurors were instructed to only answer this question if any blame was assigned to United Scaffolding.
This is not the only litigation Meiers is pursuing in Jefferson County District Court.
Earlier this month, the Southeast Texas Record reported that Meiers filed suit against Zurich American Insurance, seeking to reinstate the worker's comp claim he pursued following the incident.
Meiers lost his benefits after five years of receiving worker's compensation, court papers say.
Beaumont attorney Clay Dugas represents Meiers.
United Scaffolding is represented in part by Mehaffy Weber attorney Kathleen Kennedy.
Case No. A178-592