Injured seamen claim captain was drunk when dredge hit underwater pole

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 9, 2011, 3:22pm


GALVESTON - Two Rio Grande Valley seamen are seeking $11 million from the captain they allege was intoxicated when he drove a dredging vessel into an underwater pole which caused them to be knocked overboard.

Gilberto Adame and Francisco Ozuna filed suit against Mike Hooks Inc. on April 26 in Galveston County District Court.

According to the suit, Adame and Ozuna allege the collision on Aug. 30, 2009, made both men fall from the vessel and sustain severe injuries to their necks, shoulders, ribs, backs and other parts of their bodies.

The complaint attributes the accident to the unseaworthiness of the dredge and the defendant's negligence. The plaintiffs assert the crew was improperly trained, inadequately crewed and proper handrails were not in place for crew members to hold onto while the dredge was traveling.

They add the defendant sent a company doctor to evaluate them, who reportedly recommended light duty but did not restrict the plaintiffs' required responsibilities. The defendant noted the complainants quit in their personnel files though it knew they sought unbiased medical care, the suit says.

They are represented by The Buzbee Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss.

Case No. 11-cv-0694

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