TxDOT employee fatality suit inching toward trial

By David Yates | Oct 24, 2011

A pretrial conference was held Monday in a civil case filed over the death of a Texas Department of Transportation employee.

In June 2010, the Southeast Texas Record reported that Maria Granja filed suit against Best Transportation Services and Sergio Munguia following the death of her husband, Santos Granja, who was killed on June 21, 2010, while performing work for TxDOT on Highway 73.

The pretrial conference was held Oct. 24 in Judge Bob Wortham's 58th District Court.

Judge Wortham told the Record that the case is slated to go to trial next week.

Court records show Munguia was driving a truck for Best Transportation when the tractor-trailer collided into several vehicles performing work on the highway, causing Santos Granja's death.

The Beaumont Enterprise reported that Granja, 52, of Beaumont, was putting down reflective markers on Texas 73 near LaBelle Road when the driver of an 18-wheeler barreled into two trucks that were following Granja's work crew.

On June 2 the parties submitted a list of experts to possibly testify in the case, court records show.

Best Transportation and Mungula retained Dale King of Rimkus Consulting to inspect the freightliner and reconstruct the accident.

Leon Feazell, a safety consultant, was also retained to review all documents and reports concerning the incident, court papers say.

According to the lawsuit, a total of four vehicles were involved in the collision. Granja, who was riding on a trailer attached to the first truck in the convoy, was killed. A total of four employees on the convoy were injured and taken to the hospital.

The defendants are represented in part by attorney Kent Adams of the Houston law firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith.

Adam Terrell of Weller, Green, Toups and Terrell in Beaumont represents the plaintiff.

Case No. A187-120

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