Galveston judge awards default judgment in stove death lawsuit

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Oct 28, 2013

GALVESTON - The family of a man who died at his rented beach house in Galveston when he was pinned by a stove scored a default judgment against one of the defendants in their lawsuit.

Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor issued an order on Oct. 2 in favor of a motion submitted by the estate of 76-year-old David Holden Gasser, finding Hudak & Dawson Construction Co. Inc. liable for damages. 

Gasser's surviving relatives, represented by Alton C. Todd of Friendswood, are in the midst of a legal battle arising from Gasser's death from asphyxiation in early January 2012.

According to the original petition, the defendants are responsible for his death since they either improperly installed the stove and failed to comply with applicable safety codes when designing and constructing the kitchen or rented the property to the decedent “when it was not in a tenantable condition and was unreasonably dangerous.”

Court records show that most of the respondents provided formal responses.

Home Depot USA Inc. was among those originally named as a defendant in the litigation, but was non-suited in September.

Judge Ellisor's order explains that Hudak & Dawson failed to file an answer or a pleading nor make an appearance.

A hearing to determine damages is set for 2 p.m., Oct. 31.

Case No. 13-CV-895

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