John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 22, 2013, 3:20pm

GALVESTON - Two local longshoremen claim their attempts to escape injury on a vessel docked in the Port of Galveston resulted in injury, recent court documents say.

Ernest O'Mara and Eddie Suniga filed a lawsuit against Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc., Del Monte Fresh Produce (Texas) Inc. and Network Shipping Ltd. Inc. in Galveston County District Court on May 20.

At the time of the events in question on April 30, the plaintiffs were working aboard the defendants' ship, the Lucenda Carrier, at Pier 16 of the Port of Galveston for a third-party employer.

They explain that they were in the process of unloading the vessel when the cable holding a load snapped and the load fell to the deck below.

"While attempting to get out of the way of the falling load, Ernest O'Mara and Eddie Suniga suffered severe injuries to their legs, knees, backs, shoulders and other parts of their bodies," the original petition says.

The suit further argues the respondents had possession and control of the crane, cable and other equipment and "knew, or should have known, of the danger and failed to warn the plaintiffs or their co-workers or make the condition reasonably safe."

The defendants are faulted for:

  • Failing to keep a proper lookout;

  • Failing to properly supervise the work;

  • Failing to have a safe work area;

  • Failing to have sufficiently trained personnel; and

  • Failing to ensure that the crane and cables were properly maintained.

Consequently, the complainants seek $3.5 million in damages and a jury trial.

Attorney Anthony G. Buzbee of The Buzbee Law Firm in Houston is representing the plaintiffs, and Galveston County 10th District Court Judge Kerry L. Neves is presiding over the case.

Case No. 13-CV-692

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