HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez once said, “No one should have to sacrifice their life for their livelihood, because a nation built upon the dignity of work must provide safe working conditions for its people.”
Contrast Secretary Perez’s words with the data from Texas, where according to noted authorities, worker exploitation, avoidable deaths of Latinx workers, and a “throwaway culture” are an endemic part of the construction industry culture.
According to the National Safety Council, falling is the second leading cause of accidental injury-related death. In 2020, accidental falls resulted in 805 deaths and an estimated 211,640 days of work missed.
A recent lawsuit filed on behalf of the family of a construction worker who fell more than two stories while working on an air conditioner in the third-floor attic of a home being built by Chesmar Homes alleges that the death of their family member is the latest such incident.
The Ammons Law Firm represents the surviving wife and three children in the negligence suit filed in the 133rd District Court of Harris County. The suit was filed against general contractor Chesmar Homes, LLC, and subcontractor Big Tex Air Conditioning, Inc., who was Plaintiff’s employer, alleging both Big Tex and Chesmar were negligent by inviting the decedent onto the property to perform work despite the extremely perilous state of the unbuilt attic. The lawsuit further alleges that Big Tex and Chesmar were negligent in ordering the work to be completed before any floor or walkway was placed in the attic, without any fall protection gear, and in the evening hours without adequate lighting.
The lawsuit claims that Chesmar, as an owner or occupier of land, had a duty to use reasonable care to keep the premises in a safe condition and that the dangerous condition of the property caused the decedent’s death. Specifically, the suit alleges the worksite had no floors or temporary walkways, no lighting to navigate the narrow beams safely, and no safety gear to prevent fatal falls.
The lawsuit further alleges that as Rivera’s de facto employer, Big Tex owed a duty to protect Rivera from work-related hazards because Big Tex retained control over the details of carrying out the work. Additionally, Big Tex exercised actual control over the way Rivera performed his work and/or retained some control over the way Rivera was to perform his work on the property.
Chesmar Homes, LLC
Chesmar is a production home builder based in Houston, Texas, with divisions in San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas/Ft Worth. Japanese builder Sekisui House Ltd. purchased Chesmar Homes and its affiliates for $514 million earlier this year.
The Ammons Law Firm is a nationwide personal injury practice focused on product liability, tire defects, truck accidents, rollovers, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seatbelt defects, airbag defects and plant explosions.
Contact the Ammons Law Firm online today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.