A jury in Texas awarded $18 million in damages, including $10 million in punitive damages to the widow of Juan Perez who died on March 7, 2015, after falling through a skylight while repairing a roof for Rodriguez Trucking Company out of Mathis, Texas. The three-day trial was held in the 156th District Court of San Patricio County, Judge Patrick Flanagan presiding.
Attorney for Mr. Perez's widow, John Duff stated, "With no regard for the life of Juan Perez, the Defendant sent him to work on a roof with no fall protection equipment and no warning of the dangerous rusted condition which caused Perez to suddenly fall through roof, over 12 feet onto the concrete where he was pronounced dead at the scene."
"This verdict shows that a simple man, a laborer, who worked faithfully for 17 years, coming to work every day at 5:30 am, making 7 dollars an hour, has value. His life and what he means to the woman he loved and who loved him, has worth. "
Attorney Alex Hilliard added, "The Defendant thought of him as expendable, like a piece of machinery…The jury agreed with us that this was an entirely preventable tragedy."