Suit filed over Church's chicken floor collapse

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Lawsuit filed for mother injured in Church's chicken floor collapse

Three employees of a Church's Chicken, including Erica Acevedo, Montserrat Damian and Hugolina Guerrero, fell into a crawlspace when a floor collapsed on Aug. 1. Burning hot grease and heavy equipment fell on top of them.

Now, a lawyer for the one of the women badly burned claimed restaurant management knew about the problem.

Tony Buzbee filed a $50 million lawsuit for Acevedo. The single mother remains in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Red Duke Trauma Institute.

"It's like, hell, it's hard to even fathom," Buzbee said by phone. "She's finally out of her coma."

Acevedo was in a medically induced coma for weeks and underwent several skin grafts.

"She's burned on approximately 70 percent of her body," Buzbee said. "She faces a very long road to recovery."

RELATED: Customers save employees at church's chicken after floor buckles under them

The 26-year-old mother of a 4-year-old had only recently started working for the fast-food chain.

"She was only working to earn some extra money because her kid was going back to school. This was a second job for her," the lawyer said.

Buzbee told abc13 that restaurant management got a quote to fix the floor, but decided against the repairs due to cost.

"There was a leak, multiple leaks actually in the roof of the restaurant. There was grease that was leaking from one of the fryers. It was damaging the floor and the floor was sinking. There was a very noticeable area of the floor that was sunken in," he said. "The manager got a bid, had somebody look at it to repair it, and they decided not to spend the money to do so."

RELATED: Workers still in critical condition after church's floor collapse

According to court documents, "A chasm existed under the floor of the kitchen. The floor was week. This chasm manifested itself in various ways and was a ticking time bomb."

The floor collapsed in August inside the store at 210 N. Washington Avenue in Livingston, Texas. The lawsuit said, "This boiling grease ran into the hole created by the floor collapse. The grease collected there and began cooking Ms. Acevedo." The suit described her injuries as "catastrophic" and said, "Acevedo's fired skin was pulled off her arms as she was dragged to safety."

In the aftermath of this horrible incident, Livingston came together as a community by raising funds for the families.

They are still accepting donations at First State Bank in Livingston.

The account is called "Benefit for Burn Victims Church's Chicken." You can mail donations to P.O. Box 12777 Livingston Texas, 77351. The bank can also be reached at 936-327-5211.

Related Topics:
lawsuitunstable buildingfast food restaurantcollapseburn injuriesLivingston
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