Jones Act suit blames Weeks Marine for seaman's fall

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Dec. 10, 2008, 2:35pm

GALVESTON � A local seaman blames his employer for a fall he suffered on the job three months ago, recent court documents say.

Isidro Perales Madrigal's personal injury lawsuit against Weeks Marine Inc. alleges the defendant neglected to assure the plaintiff's safety as he worked on a company-owned vessel on Sept. 14.

The suit was filed by attorneys from Clark, Dean & Burnett GP on Dec. 9 in Galveston County District Court.

Galveston County 212nd District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

It states Madrigal was climbing down a ladder between the unnamed ship's booster and turntable barges when he reportedly took a spill.

"The plaintiff was injured when the ladder he was climbing down slipped, causing the plaintiff to fall into the water with the ladder," the complaint says. "This incident was caused by the negligence of the defendant and those for whom it is liable."

The suit also accuses Weeks of failing to keep the vessel in proper working order, which is a violation of the Jones Act.

"The defendant's vessel was unseaworthy because it was not reasonably fit for its intended purpose and such unseaworthiness was a proximate cause of the plaintiff's damages," it says.

Madrigal says he sustained serious and disabling injuries to his right knee and back as a result of the incident.

The plaintiff adds he experienced losses of earnings and household services as well as great physical pain and mental anguish.

"(Madrigal) has suffered loss of enjoyment of life as a result of the injuries incurred," the suit says.

Consequently, he seeks damages to cover medical and hospital expenses.

"The defendant is also liable to the plaintiff for payment of maintenance and cure until such time as the plaintiff reaches maximum medical improvement," the suit says.

Case No. 08CV1216

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