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Seaman working on Dredge Injured – Deckhand for Dredge Tender Hurt at Sea
Jones Act/Maritime – Injury, Fractured Ankle – Surgery, Lower Back
Case: Cause No. 11CV0016; Ismael Reyna vs. King Fisher Marine Service, L.P.; In the 56th Judicial District Court, Galveston County, Texas. The Honorable Lonnie Cox presiding.
Date: November 14, 2010
Attorneys Chad D. Points and Tony Denena, Denena & Points, PC, Houston, Texas represented Ismael Reyna.
King Fisher Marine Service, L.P. was represented by Daniel Pippitone and Kenneth Bullock of Chamberlin Hrdlicka, Houston, Texas.
FACTS & ALLEGATIONS. Ismael Reyna was working as a deckhand on a tender boat called the Patty G which was attendant to the dredge Waymon Boyd. The Waymon Boyd, the crew of the vessel and the attendant vessels were working on a dredging job near Galveston when Ismael suffered injuries.
The lawsuit was brought because the Waymon Boyd was unseaworthy in that the pontoon grating was damaged. When Ismael went to tie the line on the bit of the pontoon the line caught on the damaged grating. Negligence causes of action were also alleged because the boatmen did not assure the Patty G ran alongside the pontoon. Instead he let the Patty G drift in fairly rough seas, at night, while rain was coming down. The slack was out of the line by the time Ismael was able to release the line and discovered his foot was in the bite of the line. The line tightened around his ankle fracturing the ankle, lacerating his skin and causing him to fall hard to the deck.
INJURIES. Ismael suffered a broken ankle that required surgical intervention and several months of physical therapy and rehabilitation. Ismael also suffered injuries to the discs of his lower back that required physical therapy. Ismael was unable to work at all for several months and could not return to his physically demanding, manual labor intensive job as a deckhand.
RESULT. The parties agreed to a confidential settlement weeks after an unsuccessful mediation.
Plaintiff Experts: Edward Geoffrey Webster, B.Sc., C. Eng., F.I.Mar, EST, F.R.I.N.A., Dredge Operations, Polices and Procedures,Canton, MS.; Ruben Pechero, M.D., Treating Surgeon, McAllen, TX.
Defendant Experts: Donald W. Breech, M.D., Medical opinions, Victoria, TX.; Jorge Cordova, Dredge Operations, Policies and Procedures, Port Lavaca, TX.
Awarded: Mediation was not successful. Chad Points then deposed the Defendant’s corporate representative. The case then settled with the Defendant insisting on confidentiality of the settlement.