Son files suit after father dies in sunken ship

David Yates Dec. 22, 2009, 8:15am

With his father still presumably entombed in a vessel resting at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, Walter Morales has filed a Jones Act suit against his father's employer.

On behalf of the late William Martinez, Morales filed the suit against John Landry Jr. and Jeffrey Williams on Dec. 18 in Jefferson County District Court.

Court papers show that on Dec. 20, 2007, Martinez was employed by Landry as a seaman serving aboard the vessel Silver Wings.

"The Silver Wings sunk in the Gulf of Mexico over 100 miles off the coast of Grand Isle, La.," the suit states. "The body of Martinez was never found and is presumed to be still in the vessel which rests at the bottom of the Gulf."

The suit does not state how exactly the vessel sunk but does state that the ship was unseaworthy.

Williams, the captain of the ship, "had a duty to make the ship safe for all crew members," the suit states.

In his suit, Morales blames both defendants for negligently failing to provide his father with a safe workplace.

He is suing for survival damages and his father's mental anguish.

Morales is represented by attorney Bill Voss of the Voss Law Firm.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, is presiding over the case.

Case No. E185-503

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