Press Release

Munsch Hardt Wins Defense Verdict in Baylor University Bridge Wrongful Death Case

Apr 25, 2016

Munsch Hardt recently announced the firm received a positive defense verdict from the Harris County 151st District Court for client Genie Industries. Munsch Hardt attorneys Cliff Harrison and Mark Deaton represented Genie in the trial court proceedings.

Genie is a U.S.-based company owned by Terex and manufactures work lifts and platforms used in construction, maintenance, warehouse stocking and equipment installation. After Jose Dario Suarez died on Jan. 28, 2014 during construction of the walking bridge over the Brazos River, connecting Baylor University to McLane Stadium, a product liability lawsuit was filed against Genie by the family.

The company was among nine defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit and was accused that its boom lift was improperly designed or did not come with the appropriate instructions to safely operate the machinery’s navigation controls.

“First and foremost, our thoughts go out to the Suarez family,” Harrison said. “It is not often we go through full blown jury trials, as most cases today are settled prior to reaching this point; however, we are pleased with the outcome our team was able to secure for Genie.”

After three weeks, the jury found solely against another defendant, Austin Bridge and Road, and awarded the Suarez family $15.7 million in actual damages and $2 million in punitive damages. Judge Michael Englehart presided over the trial and read the jury’s verdict on April 12, 2016.