Fort Worth

Argyle Subcontractor Involved in Previous Collapse

Company also fined in separate safety violation.

A subcontractor working on the school building in Argyle that collapsed on Thursday was blamed in a lawsuit for another construction collapse in 2007 and was fined by federal safety regulators over a separate safety incident three years ago.

Warnick Building Steel Erectors, based in Haltom City, was accused of doing faulty work on a building on Riverbend West Drive in Fort Worth.

According to a lawsuit, filed in Tarrant County District Court, seven sections of a concrete wall collapsed during a storm on April 13, 2007.

"The investigation into the accident revealed that the damage, and the collapse of the walls, was caused and/or exacerbated by Warnick's failure to properly weld the structure and its failure to follow the design and construction plans as agreed,” the lawsuit said. "Warnick did not provide the services in a good and workmanlike manner."

Nobody was injured.

The claim was filed by Milliorn Investments, which contracted with Warnick to construct the pre-engineered building.

The case was settled before it went to trial, according to court records. The terms were not disclosed.

Separately, Warnick was cited and fined $4,000 in 2012 when government inspectors spotted a worker who wasn’t protected from a possible fall.

The violation was “serious,” according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The company settled the claim for $3,000 and the case was quickly closed, according to the OSHA.

Company owner Billy Warnick declined comment on Thursday’’s collapse or the previous incidents.

Warwick’s website says the company takes safety seriously.

“We have built a reputation with owners, manufacturers and contractors as a reliable, skilled and professionally operated pre-fabricated steel erector,” the website says. “The prevention of accidents and protection of employees, property and the general public are essential to the efficient and successful completion of every project we undertake.”

According to OSHA, the one worker killed and three others injured on Thursday in Argyle worked for Warnick. They were constructing a steel frame for an indoor sports facility when the structure gave way.

Argyle Independent School District said the project is being overseen by Northstar Builders Construction Group in Coppell.

NBC 5 Investigates could find no record of any trouble involving Northstar.

Northstar was formed in 2012, according to the Texas Secretary of State.

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