Seaman sues vessel owner after ship capsizes

Kelly Holleran Feb. 24, 2009, 4:42am

Mike Pierce

Isidro Vega has filed suit against Mike Hooks Inc. and M/V Missouri Edge, alleging he was injured when the boat capsized.

Vega was aboard the M/V Missouri Edge, which was owned by Mike Hooks, on Aug. 11, 2007, when he slipped, fell and injured his back, legs, hips and groin, according to the suit filed Feb. 18 in Jefferson County District Court.

The boat, which was deployed on the navigable waters alongside Alligator, La., capsized, the suit states.

"Defendant was subjectively aware of the extreme risk posed by the conditions which caused the vessel to capsize, but did nothing to rectify them," the suit states. "Instead, Defendant had Plaintiff and other crew members continue working despite the dangerous conditions that were posed to them."

Because of the incident, Vega claims he sustained physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, discomfort and distress.

He has also suffered a loss of earnings and incurred medical costs, according to the complaint.

Despite his injuries, Vega has not been paid maintenance and care, even though he claims he is entitled to them.

Mike Hook and M/V Missouri Edge were negligent by failing to properly supervise their crew, by failing to properly train employees, by failing to provide adequate safety equipment, by failing to provide adequate medical treatment, by operating the vessel in an improper manner and by failing to maintain the vessel, the suit states.

Vega claims Mike Hook and M/V Missouri Edge also negligently failed to maintain the vessel's equipment.

Vega is seeking actual and exemplary damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief to which he may be entitled.

He is represented by Michael Pierce and Gabe T. Vick of Arnold and Itkin in Houston.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Case No. E183-311

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