Deckhand sues over slip on icy deck

David Yates Dec. 7, 2010, 8:00am

A Port Arthur seaman has filed suit against JBS Packing Co., alleging he slipped on a patch of ice while serving aboard one of the company's vessels.

Cirino Lopez filed his suit Dec. 1 in Jefferson County District Court.

Court papers show that Lopez was injured sometime in mid-October. He was employed by JBS as a seaman serving aboard the vessel Fat Jack when "he slipped on ice that had accumulated on the slippery floor of the ship."

In his suit, Lopez alleges JBS negligently failed to install grating on the ship's deck to reduce the danger of accumulating ice.

He also alleges the vessel was not seaworthy, a requirement to sue under the Jones Act.

Lopez is suing for past and future lost wages, mental anguish and medical expenses, plus actual and exemplary damages.

Houston attorney Todd Elias of Gordon, Elias & Seely represents him.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. D188-892

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