April 20, 2016
By John Quinn, LaborPress USA
Houston, Texas – On Thursday, April 14, 2016, A Harris County jury returned a $17,720,000 verdict in favor of the family of an Ironworker that died on the job. After interest is included, the verdict will exceed 20 million dollars.
Journeyman ironworker Jose Suarez, drowned on January 28, 2014 in the Brazos River while building the pedestrian bridge for the Baylor University football stadium. Suarez, age 55 at the time of his death, left behind a wife of more than 30 years, two daughters, and a son.
The appropriate safety protocols were not in place that would have prevented his death. More than 40 depositions were taken in the case and thousands of documents showing that one of the defendants, Austin Bridge & Road, kept certain important safety rules hidden from the workers in the field due to a desire to speed up the job. Court documents showed that Austin Bridge and Road was responsible for the safety lapses that resulted in Mr. Suarez's death. The company failed to follow safety rules about which the company was informed years before the Baylor construction project.
After hearing all the evidence presented by all parties, the jurors decided that Austin Bridge and Road deserved 100% of the responsibility for Mr. Suarez's death and awarded the family $17,720,000.00.