Many laws cover the companies that build our homes and offices to make sure they protect their workers and the people around their worksites. But, unfortunately, one Hamilton Wingo client found out in a terrible way that not all construction companies do the right thing.
When the man’s family called Hamilton Wingo, they suspected that his injuries were not caused by an “act of God,” as the construction company claimed. However, after investigating the facts and hearing from everyone involved, our attorneys discovered that there was far more to the story.
When we brought those details to light, the defendants quickly decided to resolve the lawsuit with a confidential settlement less than eight months after Chris Hamilton sued them for wrongful death.
Scaffolding Collapse Should Have Been Prevented
In February 2022, Juan Enriquez and his brother were driving by a construction site near Dallas when a large piece of scaffolding along a building collapsed onto Juan’s car. The site was operated by Greystar Worldwide, a Fortune 500 company with offices in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and South America.
Juan’s brother watched in horror as emergency personnel struggled for more than half an hour to see off the car’s roof to free Juan, who was previously a healthy and active 32-year-old. After being pulled from the wreckage, Juan learned in the hospital that this catastrophic event would cause him to be paralyzed from the chest down for the rest of his life with chronic pain in his upper extremities.
Truth Emerges Under Questioning
In the lawsuit against Greystar and its subcontractors for negligence and gross negligence, Chris argued that Juan would have never been injured if the companies had followed proper safety protocols.
In response to the lawsuit, Greystar claimed that the scaffolding collapse was an “act of God.” At the same time, its masonry subcontractor admitted that the scaffolding was not properly secured to the building. Under more questioning, the subcontractor also admitted that it should have constructed a traffic barrier to keep equipment and materials at a safe distance from people like Juan, who were simply passing by.
The failures that led to Juan being paralyzed resulted in an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA ultimately issued two citations to the masonry subcontractor for failing to properly secure the scaffolding, failing to perform the work with experienced and trained employees, and failing to provide adequate supervision on the construction site.
Faced with these revelations and the prospect of having to answer for their wrongful conduct before a jury, Greystar and its subcontractors agreed to a settlement Chris negotiated on Juan’s behalf in November 2022.