Family of Iron Worker Receives $17,720,000.00 Jury Verdict in Wrongful Death Case Against Construction Companies

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A Harris County jury returned a $17,720,000 verdict in favor of the family of Jose Suarez, who drowned building the pedestrian bridge for the Baylor University football stadium.

Baylor Stadium Lawsuit

Image courtesy of www.baylor.edu

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.

On Thursday, April 14, 2016, a Harris County jury returned a nearly 18 million dollar verdict in favor of the plaintiffs after a three week trial. Vuk Vujasinovic represented the family of Jose Suarez, a journeyman iron worker who drowned on January 28, 2014 in the Brazos River. After interest is included, the verdict will likely exceed 20 million dollars.

According to the lawsuit filed in the 151st Harris County District Court on March 6, 2014 (Case Number 2014-11694), Mr. Suarez was tied off in a boom lift on a barge when the lift went off the barge into the river. He was unable to free himself and drowned. Suarez, age 55 at the time of his death, left behind a wife of more than 30 years, two daughters, and a son. They hired Vuk Vujasinovic of VB Attorneys to represent them in obtaining answers from the companies working on the project at the time of his death, to find out who was responsible for Mr. Suarez’s death, and to determine why appropriate safety protocols were not in place that would have prevented his death.

The investigation led by Mr. Vujasinovic and his team at VB Attorneys spanned more than two years. More than 40 depositions were taken in the case and thousands of documents uncovered and analyzed, including 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 show the plaintiffs were able to demonstrate that Austin Bridge and Road was responsible for the safety lapses that resulted in Mr. Suarez’s death. During the course of the trial, Austin Bridge and Road argued that guilt lay with the other defendants.

In a unique turn of events, the other defendants argued that Austin Bridge and Road was responsible for Mr. Suarez’s death and that 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.

The Suarez family is grateful to have received answers to the questions they have had for more than two years, and they are relieved to finally have some closure after losing Mr. Suarez so tragically.

About VB Attorneys
Based in Houston, Texas, VB Attorneys handles cases all over the world. The three Board Certified attorneys and their team of associate attorneys have successfully handled many high-profile cases over the years, including work accidents occurring both on land and on water. To learn more about VB Attorneys, visit our website or call us 877.724.7800.

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Emily Corwin
VB Attorneys
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