Home builder and others blamed for drywall falling on homeowner during construction visit

By The Madison County Record | Apr 23, 2014

A woman claims she was forced to endure surgery after 11 sheets of drywall fell on top of her leg.

Debbie and David Byrne filed a lawsuit April 7 in the Madison County Circuit Court against Superior Home Builders, R.P. Lumber and R.A.L. Painting and Drywall.

In their complaint, the Byrnes allege they hired Superior Home to build a new home for them at 3339 Drysdale Court in Edwardsville. In turn, Superior Home hired subcontractors to assist on the project, according to the complaint.

One of the subcontractors, R.P. Lumber delivered several sheets of drywall to the house and leaned 11 of the drywall sheets against a construction area. The sheets weighed more than 500 pounds, the suit states.

On April 13, 2013, the Byrnes visited the home to check on the progress. While Debbie Byrne was walking through the home and by the drywall, the sheets unexpectedly shifted and fell on top of her left leg, the complaint says.

Because of the incident, Debbie Byrne claims she suffered injuries, including a life-threatening injury to her lower left leg known as compartment syndrome, which required three surgeries. She also suffered great pain and mental anguish, endured disfigurement and disability, lost her normal life, incurred medical costs of more than $80,000 and lost wages, the suit states.

Debbie Byrne blames the defendants for causing her injuries, saying they negligently failed to clamp or secure the drywall, failed to safely store the drywall, failed to follow safety procedures when handling drywall, failed to communicate with all employees regarding the proper handling of drywall, failed to inspect the drywall to ensure that it was delivered properly and failed to store the drywall flat on the ground.

The Byrnes are seeking a judgment of more than $300,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

They will be represented by Michael P. Glisson of Williamson, Webster, Falb and Glisson in Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-537.

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