The families of two men killed in a staircase collapse at the future Marathon Oil headquarters have sued the petroleum company and several subcontractors involved in the construction, claiming that negligence in training, safety protocols, and oversight led to the deaths. The lawsuit, filed October 8, 2020, is on behalf of two out of three victims killed by the incident. The family of the third victim, has not yet filed a suit.
According to the petition, two of the victims were near the fourth and fifth floors of the tower after 1:30 p.m. on October 5, 2020, when suddenly and without warning the stairway collapsed from the 13th and 14th floors down. Apparently the noise of the falling material was the only warning of the oncoming danger, but there was not enough time or space for the victims to escape. The lawsuit explains that the precast concrete stairs folded one after the other, trapping the men beneath a pile of rubble inside the 15-story tower, which is set to be the site of Marathon Oil Company’s new headquarters just south of Interstate 10 inside Beltway 8, in Houston, Texas.
Crews first secured the site and were able to recover the bodies from under the concrete rubble two days later. The official cause of the collapse has not been disclosed. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is still investigating the incident.
The families are asking a jury to award them damages over $1 million, suing for wrongful death of both men and claiming that Marathon Oil Company and several subcontractors were negligent in the construction, including by failing to comply with safety regulations and practices, properly supervise and train employees and provide adequate safety equipment at the site.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as a result of a construction site incident contact the experienced attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner at (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.