Family of late Houston Rockets scout reaches settlement in wrongful death lawsuit

Jeff Ehling Image
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Family reaches settlement in death of beloved Houston Rockets scout
Brent "BJ" Johnson, a personnel scout for the Houston Rockets, was killed while riding his bike in a "dangerously" unfinished section of a sidewalk, his family said.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of a personnel scout for the Houston Rockets reached a settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against a construction company.

On Oct. 15, 2020, Brent "BJ" Johnson was killed while riding his bike in a "dangerously" unfinished section of a sidewalk along Almeda Parkway and Shadow Creek.

In January 2021, Johnson's family sued Pulice Construction for more than $100 million, alleging that they left a section of the sidewalk unfinished, exposing a 10-foot-long gutter with deep depressions and sharp concrete beams.

Johnson, an avid biker whose family says he was wearing a helmet and protective gear, flipped his bike over after running into the project, breaking his neck.

"He had no warning when he hit that area of construction. His front tire got caught (and) he lost his life," said Benny Agosto, the family's lawyer.

The day after the incident, Agosto said the construction company sectioned off the area. An attorney representing the company released the following statement after the incident.

Pulice Construction expresses its condolences to Mr. Johnson's family and friends for this truly unfortunate loss. We do not agree that Pulice Construction is responsible for Mr. Johnson's accident. However, as this matter is now in litigation, we are unable to address any details at this time.

More than a year after the lawsuit was filed, the family announced that it has been settled.

The exact terms of the settlement are confidential, but Johnson's wife, Claudette Boyance-Johnson, plans to speak at a press conference later Wednesday.

"For something like this to take him out, it's just so unfair, and I don't wish this on anybody else," said Boyance-Johnson last year in an interview with ABC13. "(He was the) love of my life and still is."

Johnson was a scout with the Rockets since the 1994-1995 championship season. He traveled the world as part of Basketball Without Borders, the NBA and FIBA's global basketball development and community outreach program, and was also very involved with the Basketball Africa League.

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