$16M Final Judgment Entered for Worker Injured in 50-Foot Fall from Electrical Pole

Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Provost Umphrey attorneys represent electrical tower climber in workplace injury lawsuit

HOUSTON – District Court Judge Cory Sepolio entered a $16 million final judgment Monday in a lawsuit on behalf of Garett Wilder, an IBEW Local 66 member and former tower climber who suffered life-altering injuries after falling 50 feet from a CenterPoint Energy electrical pole.

In August, a Harris County jury found CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC, joint and severally liable, for injuries that the Baytown resident sustained. The jury deliberated four hours before returning its verdict in the 269th Judicial District, Harris County Civil Court.

On March 15, 2019, Wilder was properly ascending a CenterPoint electrical pole near the David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport in Tomball, Texas, when the step bolt he was attached to came out of the pole due to a damaged insert. The then 27-year-old was unresponsive after falling while a fellow L.E. Myers worker performed lifesaving measures.

At the time of the accident, CenterPoint knew that some step bolts could not be inserted into the pole and that other step bolts were loose but failed to warn Mr. Wilder or his employer, L.E. Myers Co.

“The last thing I remember was the step bolt coming out,” recalls Wilder during the plaintiff’s testimony. “Then I woke up in the hospital.”

Wilder suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, a fracture and fused spine, the shattering of the bones in his feet and ankles as well as other injuries. He has undergone eight complex surgeries and remains at risk for the amputation of one or both of his legs.

“The final judgement being entered is the next step in ensuring Mr. Wilder’s future is secure” says Provost Umphrey partner, Bryan O. Blevins, Jr. “We are very pleased to be at this point.”

“Our client remains very happy with the outcome,” says Matthew C. Matheny, Provost Umphrey partner. “We are rooting for Mr. Wilder and hope that Center Point will accept the will of the jury and pay the money Mr. Wilder desperately needs as a result of that horrific day three years ago.”

Assisting Matheny and Blevins in the case was attorney Daniel D. Horowitz of the Law Office of Daniel D. Horowitz, III.

The case is Garett Wilder v. CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC, Cause No. 2019-31428 in the District Court of Harris County, Texas 269th Judicial District, Judge Cory Don Sepolio presiding.

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