Hodges Southwest settles case brought by worker who fell through roof

Tree trimmerMark was employed by a tree trimming company when he suffered devastating injuries. Mark was on top of a building in Houston, Texas pruning trees when the roof collapsed, causing him to fall 20 feet to the ground. Mark sustained a brain injury as well as various orthopedic injuries.

The building was owned by Hodges Southwest, Inc., a company that had insurance with The Travelers Lloyds Insurance Company.

Mark hired us to investigate his case. Through our investigation, we determined that immediately after the fall, the company gathered all of the evidence, threw it away, and fixed the roof. Mark had a valid claim for "spoliation" of evidence, which means the destruction of evidence in order to cheat somebody out of a valid claim. Mark decided to pursue a lawsuit against Hodges Southwest. We filed a lawsuit on his behalf in Harris County, Texas.

We worked up the case, which was defended by lawyers hired by the insurance company. We filed a motion with the court requesting the company be penalized for its improper destruction of evidence. The penalty would be that the jury would be instructed to assume that the evidence, if it had not been thrown away by the company, would have been favorable to Mark's case.

The day before the hearing on the spoliation motion, the insurance company agreed to pay the maximum limits of the insurance policy, in the amount of $1,000,000.

$1,000,000 Settlement