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Brown County jury returns $2M verdict for worker injured on construction site

Special to the Bulletin
Brown County Courthouse

The following information was provided by the Lanier Law Firm of Houston, attorney for the plaintiff. 

In one of the state’s first in-person jury trials in the past seven months, a Brown County jury on Oct. 9 awarded $1.95 million for injuries suffered by a worker who fell 11 feet through an unmarked opening onto a concrete floor. 

Drew M. Garner Jr., 67, was performing an asbestos inspection on the first floor of the Texas Department of Transportation administrative offices in Brownwood on August 20, 2017, when he walked onto a sheet of thin polyplastic covering that could not support his weight. Mr. Garner suffered multiple shattered ribs, a punctured lung and diaphragm as well as a shattered clavicle, from the fall. He continues to suffer ongoing pain from his injuries after more than three years.

The jury found Fast Solutions Environmental, an asbestos abatement company based in Duncanville, Texas, responsible for 90 percent of the negligence associated with the incident, while holding the plaintiff responsible for 10 percent.

“We want to thank the members of the jury and the court for their diligence in creating and maintaining a safe setting to conduct this trial, which was so important to Mr. Garner,” said Jud Waltman of Houston’s Lanier Law Firm. “While many individuals are faced with unfortunate and understandable delays in having their day in court due to COVID, we were determined to see justice done.”

The case is Garner v. Waldrop Construction and Fast Solutions Environmental, No. CV1712542, held in the 35th District Court of Brown County.

Nick Nicholas, a Dallas attorney, represented the defendant. Nicholas did not respond to a request from the Bulletin for comment.