JC jury clears Warwick Construction of negligence in wrongful death suit

By David Yates | Feb 20, 2018

BEAUMONT – The trial of a wrongful death lawsuit ended with a Jefferson County jury assigning blame to the decedent and his employer, clearing Warwick Construction of any alleged negligence.

Raina Guevara, representing her father’s estate, filed a lawsuit Nov. 10, 2015, in Jefferson County District Court against CBL & Associates Properties (Parkdale Mall) and Anytime Electric in Houston.

Since then, the petition has been amended four times, adding additional defendants, including Warwick Construction – a company the plaintiffs contended owed a duty to the deceased to provide him with a safe workplace and proper equipment.

According to the complaint, on June 16, 2015, the late Federico Guevara III was working as an electrical contractor for Anytime Electric at the Parkdale Mall Shopping Center in Beaumont, when an electrical spark caused him to fall 12 to 15 feet from a ladder.

He sustained a severe head injury with skull fracture, the suit says, and was transferred to St. Elizabeth Hospital, where he underwent surgery in an attempt to save his life. Guevara experienced extreme physical pain and suffering for several days, ultimately leading to his death.

The trial began Feb. 5 and lasted nearly two weeks, with jurors assigning 50 percent of the negligence to Guevara and the other half to Anytime Electric, according to the charge of the court, filed Feb. 16.

The jury assigned no responsibility for the incident to Warwick Construction. No damages were awarded to the plaintiffs.

In their suit, the plaintiffs allege Warwick Construction “rapidly rose to the top of its field by aggressively moving constriction deadlines at the risk of workers’ safety.”

Court records show Warwick Construction had a cross-action against Anytime Electric, which it non-suited last March.

Last April, Parkdale Mall filed its motion for summary judgment, arguing there is no evidence to support the plaintiffs’ claims of negligence and gross negligence.

Parkdale Mall further contended there is no evidence to indicate that it owed a duty to Guevara.

Raina Guevara, Ysela Guevara, and Federico Guevara IV are the surviving children of Federico Guevara III. Rodriguez is the mother of Ysela Guevara and Federico Guevara IV.

The plaintiffs were seeking damages of more than $1 million, including interests and court costs.

They are represented by attorney Clay Dugas and Jill Pierce, attorney for Bradley & Steele in Port Arthur.

Jefferson County District Court case number A-197788.

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