Fishing boat passengers say dredge line not marked

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Feb. 14, 2011, 7:15am

GALVESTON � After being ejected from their fishing boat, four Galveston County residents have filed suit against Weeks Marine Inc.

Jefferson D. Huddleston, Geraldine A. Anderson, Carrie A. Boyd and Granger A. Gardner claim a hidden dredging line belonging to the marine transportation company struck a 30-foot Mako on which they rode as it navigated through Galveston Bay near the Texas City Dyke, according to a lawsuit filed Feb. 9 in Galveston County District Court.

The complainants say that the encounter with the line on the night of Sept. 12 caused them to be thrown into the water and rendered the vessel a total loss, adding they were not aware that Weeks was conducting dredging operations in the area.

"There were no buoys, signs, lights or other navigational aids or markings to indicate the location of the dredging lines," the original petition says. "As a result, the plaintiffs suffered severe and disabling injuries."

The suit ultimately argues that the defendant violated federal law when it left the line unmarked.

Consequently, the plaintiffs seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

The Collings Law Firm PLLC is representing the complainants and Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

Case No. 11-cv-0207

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