BEAUMONT – Jury selection began Monday in a personal injury lawsuit brought against the Young Men’s Business League of Beaumont.
Seeking more than $1 million in damages, James Thibodeaux filed suit against YMBL on Nov. 15, 2016, in Jefferson County District Court.
Court records show Thibodeaux was injured at Ford Park Arena on March 28, 2016.
He had climbed onto one of the metal gates constructed by YMBL and, while descending, the gate fell to the ground, landing on top of him.
In his suit, he accused YMBL of breaching its duty to him by failing to properly secure the fence panel and warn of the dangerous condition.
However, YMBL filed a motion for summary judgment on June 1, arguing Thibodeaux had presented no evidence to support his claim it owed him a duty.
According to the motion, a YMBL volunteer had told Thibodeaux that the fence was not complete and that they were not ready for him to run electrical wiring. Regardless, Thibodeaux, without permission, decided to run the wire on his own initiative.
“Plaintiff has presented no evidence showing that YMBL knew or should have known that Plaintiff was going to climb on top of the fence panels to run wiring,” the motion states.
YMBL further asserts a general denial in an amended answer and argues Thibodeaux’s injuries were caused by his own negligence.
The trial is expected to run to at least Thursday, according to a courthouse official.
Thibodeaux is represented by Glen Morgan, a partner at the Reaud, Morgan & Quinn law firm in Beaumont.
YMBL is represented by Katie Williamson, attorney for the Houston law firm Daw & Ray.
Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is presiding over the case.
Case No. E-199263