GALVESTON - A local man suing over a late 2011 stairway collapse claims the defendant has been evading process servers and is seeking another method of delivering the court papers. 

Gary Lee Rodriguez filed a motion for substituted service Nov. 26 into his suit targeting Galveston local Thomas Proctor, asserting attempts to serve him were unsuccessful.

The suit, filed Aug. 8, shows Rodriguez and Proctor fell last while working at a house in Santa Fe.

Part of their work required getting into the area behind the staircase, so the men decided to move it to a new location nearby, the lawsuit states.

Rodriguez says he was performing other tasks when Proctor called him into the house and instructed him to go up the staircase and assist with a task on the second floor.

The plaintiff assumed the staircase was re-secured, but it fell as he ascended it, "slamming both the plaintiff and Proctor to the floor," the suit states.

Proctor was reportedly unhurt while the complainant suffered "grievous bodily injuries."

Rodriguez's motion asserts Galveston County Deputy Sheriff Alfreda Whitaker went to Proctor's presumed residence in Galveston, but apparently no one was there to take the documents.

"It is the opinion of the process server … that he is evading service by not answering the door and/or not being at home and the process server has confirmed that he lives at the address," the 15-page document says.

The plaintiff requests that the documentation be left with anyone over the age of 16 at Proctor's home or attached to the front door of the house.

Case No. 12-CV-1791

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