On February 18, 2017, tragedy struck the parents of 10-year-old boy, Aiden. The young boy had been visiting his friend’s home in Central Austin when he was killed by the home’s security gate. The metal mesh between the gate and the stone wall had been removed, creating a gap just wide enough for the size of the victim’s body to fit through. The friend’s motion triggered the gate to open while the victim, Aiden, stood in this gap. As a result, the metal gate crushed the little boy’s body, cutting off oxygen supply to the brain. Aiden was rushed to the hospital, but his brain was already dead. He died five days later.
Unfortunately, heart-wrenching stories like Aiden’s are all too common. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has mandatory safety measures in place to prevent security gates from causing accidental injuries and deaths, especially involving children. Gates are required to include a system that can detect when it encounters resistance and in response stops and reverses the motion of the gate. The CPSC also requires the elimination of all gaps in gates over 2.25 inches. The design of this gate in particular had no such measures.
Aiden’s parents have filed a lawsuit against several parties and are seeking damages in excess of $1 million. The defendants in the suit include the gates manufacturer, designer, installer, and electric eye manufacturer: Chamberlain Group, Fusion Gate, Inc., George Dahmen Construction, and Omron Electronics, respectively. The parents are also suing the homeowner, Rebekeh Gainsley, for disregarding the missing metal mesh in the gate and providing a potentially dangerous space for children.
Benny Agosto, Jr. is a partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner in Houston, Texas. For over 66 years, Abraham Watkins has successfully represented injured people and families who fall victim to catastrophes. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to obtain just compensation their clients. If you have been injured by an overserved individual driving a vehicle after leaving an establishment, please contact the office of Benny Agosto, Jr. at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, by letter at 800 Commerce Street, Houston, Texas 77002, or by phone at 713-396-3964.