A Hillsboro electrician who suffered permanent disability while working in a Dallas office building wins substantial verdict.
Dallas, June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire — A 52-year-old Hillsboro, Texas, man seriously injured in a workplace injury when his leg became entangled in an unguarded air handling unit pulley in a 12 story building in Dallas in 2009 was awarded $2.41 million by a Dallas jury, according to his attorney Bill Zook, of Ted B. Lyon & Associates.
The jury in Judge Mark Greenberg’s court found the building owner, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (UTSWMS) was negligent, and primarily responsible for the injuries to Johnny Munoz.
Mr. Zook stated that “The Munoz case is unique in that the citizens of Dallas County held a State entity accountable for making dangerous use of property around which Mr. Munoz was required to work. ”
Mr. Munoz was working as an electrician for a contractor on Bass Tower II, an office building owned by The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. The contractors were upgrading the computer system which controlled the air handling units. The air handling units were large systems that provided and controlled the air flow into the tenant occupied space of the building. Mr. Munoz was required to perform his work of running electrical conduits in close proximity to the unguarded pulley on an operational air handling unit. While trying to get by the pulley in a confined area, the pulley caught some electrical wires in the vicinity and wrapped them around Mr. Munoz’ leg, wrenching his back and left knee. He received permanent back and left knee injuries which resulted in two surgeries, permanent disability and two probable knee replacements in the future.
Mr. Zook stated that “[T]he outcome of this case is important to every citizen in the state of Texas not because of the amount of the verdict, but because the jury held the State of Texas to the same safety standards to which private citizens are held. The State’s unlimited resources were not sufficient to convince the jury that the State born no responsibility, as they claimed at trial. By the end of the trial, the truth won the day and no matter how big the adversary, we were willing to take the fight all the way to verdict.”
Mr. Munoz is represented by Mr. Bill Zook of Ted B. Lyon & Associates, Mesquite, Texas. The jury award included $600,000 for past and future pain and suffering, $370,000 in past and future medical expenses, $700,000 in past and future physical impairment, and $740,000 in loss of past and future wage earning capacity.
The case is Johnny Felipe Munoz v. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, CC-10-00309-E in County Court at Law No. 5 of Dallas County, Texas.