Welder sues ship owner over electrical shock

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 3, 2010, 2:33pm

GALVESTON - After he was electrically shocked five months ago while performing welding work aboard a ship, a Galveston County man is suing the ship's owner.

Lee McMillon claims he was welding in the engine room of the M/V Geo Searcher on June 1 when water from an unspecified source flowed underneath him and caused an immediate shock throughout his body.

The suit against Sound Oceanics was filed Oct. 27 in Galveston County District Court.

According to the complaint, McMillon, an employee of Malin International Ship Repair & Dry Dock, was lying flat on his back and using a 300-volt welding machine in a tight space in the engine room. He then felt water flowing along his back and was shocked, the suit states.

"The electric shock was so strong that the muscles in the plaintiff's right hand and arm were completely contracted," the suit says.

McMillon insists that he was unable to let go of the welding electrolode until he slammed his hand against a motor to dislodge it and free himself from the electricity.

The plaintiff consequently suffered significant injuries to his right hand, right arm and back as well as internal and cardiac injuries, the suit says.

His employer Malin International is not named a defendant in the case.

The plaintiff seeks monetary damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages and medical expenses.

Thomas & Wan LLP is representing McMillon.

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

Case No. 10-cv-4033

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