Sailboat racer blames crewmate for racing injuries

Kasey Schefflin-Emrich Nov. 20, 2015, 2:33pm


A Harris County man is suing a Corpus Christi resident, alleging negligence for injuries he says he sustained during a sailboat race.

Matt Buvinghausen filed a lawsuit Aug. 24 in Galveston County District Court against Terry Pynckel of Corpus Christi, alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, on Jan. 5, 2013, Buvinghausen was a crew member aboard the defendant's sailboat which was participating in the Icicle Race on Galveston Bay. Without realizing it, the suit says, the plaintiff sustained serious injuries to his head and brain during two separate races--the first when he slipped and fell, and second when he was hit in the head by the sailboat's boom.

The suit states Buvinghausen was found unconscious on the floor of his home Aug. 26, 2013, and was taken to the hospital where he learned he had subdural hematomas under the skull. He didn't know it was related to the two incidents aboard the sailboat until after he was discharged from the hospital the following month, the suit says.

The lawsuit alleges the defendant caused Buvinghausen's injuries by failing to ensure the boat was safe, not providing anti-skid or slip resistant surfaces on the boat, not warning Buvinghausen of the change in position of the sailboat boom and not requiring him to seek medical attention after the two incidents at the race.

The plaintiff alleges he has and will continue to endure physical pain, mental pain, anguish, physical impairment, medical expenses and diminished earning capacity. He has been living at a rehabilitation center since leaving the hospital and has become completely disabled at 56, the suit says.

Buvinghausen seeks damages of at least $500,000, plus costs of suit and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. He is represented by attorney Gregory W. Allen of Houston.

Galveston County District Court case number 15-CV-0881.

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