A Texas jury awarded $33.8 million to a worker who fell through a defectively designed skylight that was too weak to support foreseeable human loads.
Plaintiff Steven Landers fell through the skylight and suffered a broken leg, arm, ribs, punctured lung, and back injury. He required amputation of the lower right leg after months attempting to save the leg, and had a 5-level back fusion to repair his back.
Attorneys Mark Haney of Puls Haney Kaiser, PLLC and Pat Gallagher of Haslam & Gallagher, P.C., both in Fort Worth, Texas, recovered the damages after a 10-day trial.Steven Landers sits with one of his children, Colton, 2, at his Fort Worth home. Photo by Ron T. Ennis of the Star-Telegram.
The fall took place in an industrial building on September 18, 2010. Plaintiff fell 35 feet to a concrete floor. Landers, age 34, is married with three children.
The defendant is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of skylights and has installed millions of them. OSHA records show that reported falls through skylights average about 45 per year.
The case is Steven Landers v. Wasco Products, Inc., 48th District Court, Tarrant County, Texas. Hon. David Evans presiding.