Runner asks judge to join bi-national race lawsuit

February 21, 2019

A Matamoros resident is asking to join litigation stemming from the bi-national race last year that resulted in injuries to runners when scaffolding at the starting line fell, injuring several people.

Erick Rodriguez said in a court motion that he was invited to the March 24, 2018, Bi-National 10K & 5K Run when the scaffold at the starting line in the race fell on him, causing an open laceration to his head.

"He put his right arm up in an instinctive protective manner as to shield his face and body from additional harm. However, the metal structure that fell on Mr. Erick Rodriguez, fell with such severe force that although he shielded himself, the structure still cause [sic] a [sic] open laceration to his head," the motion states. "He was to be treated by EMS on the scene and transferred to Valley Regional Medical Center to care for his wounds."

Rodriguez is asking 138th state District Court Judge Arturo Cisneros Nelson to join the lawsuit filed by Matamoros residents Daniel Reglado, D.A.R., a minor, Cecilia P. Alonso and Brownsville resident Sylvia Vela against Fundacion Teleton USA, Sistema Infantial Teleton USA, Sabas Lopez Jr., doing business as SRS Advertising and DG Entertainment, and the City of Brownsville.

A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 25.

The lawsuit is seeking damages for medical expenses, physical pain and mental anguish, physical impairment and lost earning capacity and exemplary damages.

When the incident happened, one person at the scene told The Brownsville Herald that they thought wind blew the scaffolding over.

All of the defendants in the lawsuit have filed motions denying the allegations brought by the runners, who are seeking $1,000,000 in damages or more.

The purpose of the Bi-National 10K & 5K Run is to highlight the relationship between Brownsville and Matamoros and to raise money for the TeletonUSA Foundation, a San Antonio-based nonprofit that supports a rehabilitation institute for children with neurological and musculoskeletal disorders.