Parties have to Dec. 1 to assert claims in suit against Neches Gulf Marine

David Yates Nov. 11, 2010, 3:30am

Due to a federal court order, parties have until Dec. 1 to assert claims in a personal injury suit against Neches Gulf Marine.

In June, the Southeast Texas Record reported that Glenn Gunnlaugsson filed suit against Neches Gulf Marine, claiming he watched his leg be ripped from his body as he attempted to secure a boat to an offshore drilling platform.

The suit was partially transferred from Jefferson County to federal court. On Oct. 7, U.S. District Judge Ron Clark granted the defendant's motion for exoneration from or limitation of liability, court records show.

Five days later, Neches Gulf Marine filed a notice of limitation action and entry of order restraining prosecution of claims in Jefferson County.

"Pursuant to Judge Clark's order ... the cause of action is stayed and all parties wishing to assert claims ... have been ordered to file their claims in the limitation action on or before Dec. 1, 2010," the notice states.

Court records show the 52-year-old Gunnlaugsson claims he worked as a deck hand on the boat M/V San Jacinto, owned by Neches Gulf Marine, on April 9.

According to the complaint, after securing one of the boat's lines to the platform, Gunnlaugsson stood holding another line waiting for further instructions as to how the boat should be secured to the platform.

"During the process, Plaintiff was thrown into the mooring line and entangled in it," the suit states. "When the mooring line became taught, Plaintiff's right leg was caught in the mooring line and severed just below the knee. Plaintiff actually watched his leg while still in his rubber boot be thrown across the vessel.

"After it was ripped from his body, Plaintiff then had to crawl across the deck of the vessel, bleeding profusely, in shock, to the Pilot House to seek assistance as he was the only member of the crew on the deck. Finally, just before passing out, he was helped below to the galley area where an improvised tourniquet was secured to the remaining stump of his right leg."

In his suit, Gunnlaugsson blames Neches Gulf Marine for his injuries, saying the company negligently failed to take reasonable precautions for his injuries, failed to provide a reasonable and safe place for Gunnlaugsson to work and failed to provide appropriate medical care.

Gunnlaugsson is suing for his physical and mental pain, lost wages, medical expenses, disfigurement and impairment.

Stephen A. Taggart of Beaumont represents him.

Neches Gulf Marine is represented by Beaumont attorney Michael Eaves of Calvert Eaves Clarke & Stelly.

Case No. D187-015

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