Unsafe Conditions Led to 37-foot Fall Through Skylight
(SANTA FE, N.M.) – The New Mexico Court of Appeals has reinstated a lawsuit filed by the Will Ferguson & Associates law firm on behalf of a construction worker who was severely injured in a fall during construction of a Taos community center swimming pool.
The 47-year-old Grady, N.M., man worked for a subcontractor in August 2004 when he stepped through a sheet of vinyl covering a skylight hole on the roof of the pool. He fell 37 feet to the empty pool below, shattering his legs, hip and arm. In all the man suffered at least 14 broken and incurred $670,000 in medical expenses. He is totally disabled.
The issue before the appellate court was whether the general contractor, LCI2, could be sued for failing to guarantee the safety of one of its subcontractors, Newt & Butch.
A Taos trial judge ruled that LCI2 could not be sued, but the appeals court found that LCI2 had retained to itself all responsibility for safety on the Taos job. In fact, it won the project by promising the City of Taos that it would hire a third-party safety inspector to enforce all local, state and federal safety laws.
“Evidence shows they signed a contract for hazard analysis with regular reporting, but once they won the project, they scaled back those services to the detriment of the safety of the workers,” said the injured man’s attorney, David M. Houliston.
Evidence showed that between 10 to 20 workers had worked on the roof over 60 days while the skylights were not covered with plywood, and the hole that the worker unknowingly stepped through after it had been covered with flimsy vinyl sheeting was inherently unsafe, Houliston said.
The Will Ferguson & Associates Law Firm represents people seriously injured by the negligence of others and the families of persons who die because of the negligence of others. For more information, contact Will Ferguson & Associates, (505) 243-5566 or 1 (800) 251-5566. Will Ferguson & Associates maintains two offices in Albuquerque and an office in Amarillo, Texas, to serve families and people injured in Texas. That office is at 2901 I-40 West, Amarillo, Texas 79109. The Amarillo phone number is 806-374-4024.