Dallas Worker Given Drug Test As He Lay Dying, Widow Claims

Benino Perez was planning on retiring in two weeks from the job at Texas Industries he'd held for 38 years. But then he fell, hit his head and died. Now his widow is suing for $15 million, claiming her late husband was left unconscious on the ground for two hours before an ambulance was called, and in that time, an employee zipped down his pants, and took urine from him for a drug test, reports ABC News.

Perez was a loader and batch man at the Dallas headquarters of the cement and construction company. On July 1 last year, he was working "without fall protection equipment," and fell several feet, according to the lawsuit. David Perkins, a Texas Industries executive told ABC News that a driver noticed that Benino was walking irregularly and bleeding from his nose, and sat with him.

When he became more and more unresponsive, "we realized this was a significant injury so we called the paramedics."

That's not what Perez's widow, Alejandra, believes happened. According to her lawsuit, filed June 7, Perez "lay unconscious on the ground," while a urine sample was taken for a drug test. She claims that emergency help wasn't called for two hours. So by the time Perez got to the hospital, there was little to be done. He was on life support for several hours, and then died. He was 67.

"He died a pretty agonizing death," Perez's attorney, Domingo Garcia, told ABC News. Perez says her late husband had a physical about a week before the accident and was in fine health. Now she's living off the worker's compensation from her husband's death, and terrified about what will happen when the money runs out.

Perez is suing Texas Industries for inadequately training its employees and not providing proper equipment and protections, as well as wrongful death. The lawsuit seeks $5 million for damages prior to death, $5 million for wrongful death, and $5 million in punitive damages. "I miss him with all my heart, like nobody knows," she told ABC News.

Collecting evidence has been difficult, however. One witness said there were cameras at the work site, according to Garcia, which were removed the day after the incident. The company representative said the cameras were reviewed and nothing useful was found; they weren't pointing in the right direction. Perez's coworkers were reluctant to talk when she approached them at the funeral.

Texas Industries denies any wrongdoing, claims that there was no drug test, and that the ambulance was called promptly. Representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration surveyed the work site after the accident, and interviewed employees, but decided not to discipline the company, reports the Dallas Observer.

The company paid for Perez's funeral. "We certainly wanted to make sure we were accommodating in that regard," Perkins told ABC News.

Most of the time it's nurses and doctors who are handed wrongful death suits, but others aren't immune. Last September, a Time Warner Cable customer service representative died on the job. A co-worker claimed that she rushed to give the woman CPR after seeing the woman slumped at her desk but a supervisor told her to "get back on the phone and take care of customers."

And in April, the mother of a woman who died on a cruise ship sued the company operating it, claiming that the ship's staff encouraged her daughter to get dangerously drunk, and when the woman cut herself and started bleeding profusely, it took an hour for personnel to bring her to the infirmary.




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Patrick

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July 20 2012 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
italicsmyn

See how addicted government is to pee pee?

June 13 2012 at 8:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
madlyfem

There should be criminal sanctions. The company people on the ground should go to jail for manslaughter, as should the management who ordered this policy.

June 13 2012 at 2:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shad0w24

The fact is a urine sample can be taken at the hospital in a sterile sample from a catheter. Which is the best way for a company to test a worker. If a patient was so serious with head trauma and was two hours from a hospital he would have been airlifted to the hospital and not taken by ground. Since he was taken by ground that shows the location was close to a hospital. I have worked in the emergency field for over 12 years and this man should have been taken to the hospital the moment he was injured. Not to mention that the hospital would want to see his urine to see if he had and blood in it.

June 13 2012 at 12:41 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ronald1216

bastards there husbands auto haunt the construction site heres how. tell your dead relatives touch the outside extension of an object not the object itself to move it trust me it works. i heard a nurse was on a segarette break and let a man drop dead in front of her till she finished. damn people can be so mean know wonder the hospital is haunted.

June 13 2012 at 12:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ramgrc8

I hope Mrs Pereze, doesn't let the cpmany lawyers buy her off they will do that first to make it go away I do hope a court decides with her fighting for her Husband it wont bring him back but clear his name. construction companys not all of them some of them fake there saftey reports when an accident happen because the GC is the one responsible for the safety of all the people who set foot on the job, mostly the saftey meetings are taken serouise enough to held them once a week or teach them the safety rules know there are some co workers that already know the safety rules but arent fallowed that 's why its the Super Intendint is responsible for the workers but most of the time there to busy to take the time to have the saftey meeting have the time they dont even walk to job site,they dont even know who's comng or going in this case I'm sure there trying to cover it up so they dont have to pay not only his wife also to OHSA which will bankrupt the company in fines an have either the GC, super intendint arrested for the accident .Companys in costruction use alot of immigrant workers today and most of them have no idea of all the safety rules or prtection on the job sites ,I know for a reason seen it to much in my 20 years in construction

June 12 2012 at 11:53 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
starpizzaman

Money, money, money!

June 12 2012 at 11:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RJ

Everybody is posting comments based on skewed information typical of AOL and/or Huffpo. If you just looked around you would find factual reports stating it was two hours from time of incident to arrival at the hospital, not uncommon in areas located far from the transporting medics and the treating facility. Most of the Information given in this incident was provided by the attorney who filed the wrongful death claim, Domingo Garcia, who is also campaigning for Congress and trying to get his name in the press as much as possible. Many occupations require ASAP urinalysis samples for on the job injuries. OSHA investigators, who are known to be extremely unforgiving, found nothing negligent to cite at the location where the injury happened. I guess it's OK to post your opinion using the "facts" given in an article, but I think you should be aware of all the "facts" before you start pointing the finger of blame.

June 12 2012 at 11:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RJ's comment
shad0w24

The fact is a urine sample can be taken at the hospital in a sterile sample from a catheter. Which is the best way for a company to test a worker. If a patient was so serious with head trauma and was two hours from a hospital he would have been airlifted to the hospital and not taken by ground. Since he was taken by ground that shows the location was close to a hospital. I have worked in the emergency field for over 12 years and this man should have been taken to the hospital the moment he was injured. Not to mention that the hospital would want to see his urine to see if he had and blood in it.

June 13 2012 at 12:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lori

So his wife was not there and he was unconscious but somehow his widow "BELIEVES" that some other stuff happened. Well I believe I won the lottery ... and I believe in unicorns and smurfs. And I believe she is sad her husband died .... with not enough life insurance and he didn't retire so she could get retirement benefits. So now she want's someone to pay her. End of story. Same crap .... different names.

June 12 2012 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hello Organizer

Really? You are taking the word of the Dallas Observer... might as well be a stripper's diary. This gets more disgusting by the moment.

June 12 2012 at 11:26 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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