SAN ANTONIO -

The family of the CPS employee who fell from a utility pole and eventually died has filed a lawsuit against the utility.

Hector Castro, 54, was at CPS Energy's Eastside Service Center on Oct. 1, climbing a utility pole during a training exercise, when he fell some 40 feet.

Three weeks later, he died from his injuries.

On that day, a flag was flown at half-staff and the company’s Vice President of Human Resources Leslie Real said fellow employees were mourning the loss of one of their own.

"At the time, he seemed to be responsive,” Real said on Oct. 22. “He has been in medical treatment since Oct. 1. We were informed by his family this morning unfortunately he had passed away."

Two weeks after Castro's death, his family filed a lawsuit against CPS Energy, asking for exemplary damages in excess of $1 million.

Suing are Alejandra Castro, Hector Castro's wife, and his two grown children, Hector Daniel Castro, of Fort Worth, and Elizabeth Castro, of San Antonio.

The suit said Castro suffered from Meniere's Disease, causing him to experience spontaneous episodes of vertigo.

It said he had not been required to climb a utility pole in over 15 years and that a safety harness was not provided to protect him from falling.

It went on to read that Castro was told if he refused to climb the utility pole, he would be fired.

He fell 40 feet and eventually died.

The lawsuit calls CPS Energy’s actions gross negligence.

CPS Energy said it does not comment on pending litigation. Messages were left at two law firms representing the family filing the lawsuit, but by late afternoon Thursday, no calls had been returned.

Castro was a 31-year employee of CPS Energy and was just months shy of his retirement.

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