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House collapses on worker, critical injuries result

Termites, a common problem in Galveston, attacked a house on 21st Street. They had eaten away at the foundation of the home and to save it, the homeowner hired a crew to shore it up. While working on a new support system, something gave way and the house twisted and fell about six feet.

When the house collapsed a worker was trapped beneath the structure. Rescue crews arrived and had to use forklifts to raise a portion of the house so they could get the man out. It was reported that it took about 50 minutes to extricate the injured worker. He was taken to an area hospital with serious personal injuries described as crush injuries.

It was not reported whether the worker's crush injury was to his arms or legs or torso. Any of these could result in loss of life. According to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, a crush injury is the compression of the arms, legs or other parts of the body. The body reacts with swelling and the muscle actually breaks down. The muscle break down releases potentially toxic muscle cell components into the circulatory system. This in turn can lead to the expected tissue injury but also to organ dysfunction and metabolic problems. The CDC reports that 50 percent of those with crush injuries have renal failure.

According to news sources, the homeowner had all of the necessary permits for the home remodel. Questions remain as to what caused the home to collapse on the worker. Did someone make an error in placement of support structures? Did a piece of equipment fail? If there was negligence on the part of the homeowner or the construction company or other third-party, the injured worker could seek compensation for damages including pain and suffering.

The worker was reported to be in critical condition with his chance of survival unreported.

Source: The Daily News, "Man injured in house collapse in critical condition," Chris Paschenko, July 20, 2012

At our Galveston law firm, we represent individuals such as the worker mentioned in this posting, who suffer a personal injury due to the fault or negligence of others.

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