Inspectors found that a main entry gate had failed safety codes but the glamorous new $540 million Dickies Arena – magnified from our law office’s windows – still opened in November. But one month later, a man who was on the overnight cleaning crew tragically died as a result of allowing that gate to remain in its dangerous condition. We described this horrific event in a previous blog.
In case you missed this story, on December 7th in the early morning hours, Juan Carlos Julian, Jr., 24, was locked out of the building. But even though safety regulations prevented someone from being able to reach through a locked gate, he stuck his arm through the iron bars to hit the nearby button to let himself inside. He was crushed to death after his arm was trapped.
To prevent this from happening, safety measures require that the open-close switch must be more than 10 feet away from the gate’s moving arm. They also require gates with gaps of more than two and one fourth inches have screened wire mesh. Fort Worth adopted this national building code.
But a city official admitted that the arena made a deal to allow it to open on time. The gate would remain as long as it was kept locked in an open position. That obviously didn’t happen.
A lawsuit has been filed in Dallas County by the man’s family against the company that runs the arena, Trail Drive Management Corp., and its two building contractors, The Beck Group and TDIndustries.
This was an accident just waiting to happen.