Longshoreman sues three marine businesses over head injuries

By Kelly Holleran | Apr 7, 2009

Tommy Hastings

A Jefferson County longshoreman says his head was crushed between a boat and a dock, and blames the injuries on the negligence of three Louisiana companies.

Alejandro Francisco Cruz filed suit against Louisiana-based Fluid Crane & Construction, Tidewater Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Quality Shipyards on April 3 in Jefferson County District Court.

Cruz says he was working as a longshoreman on Oct. 10 for Hutco Inc., a labor services firm. Fluid Crane was directing him as to what duties to perform.

According to the complaint, Cruz was told to tie and untie the M/V Gizmo, a push boat, and other items that needed to be moved. While working per his instructions, Cruz was crushed between the M/V Gizmo and a dock belonging to Quality and Tidewater, he claims.

Because of the incident, Cruz incurred medical expenses, experienced physical pain, mental anguish, a loss of earnings and earning capacity, physical impairment and a loss of physical capacity, the suit states.

Tidewater and Quality were at fault because they failed to provide a safe work place, failed to take reasonable precautions and failed to warn of dangers during moving operations, the suit states.

The two companies also negligently failed to properly train Cruz, failed to provide safe work equipment, failed to warn of hidden defects, failed to remedy hazardous conditions, failed to guard against negligently injuring Cruz and exposed Cruz to harm, according to court documents.

Cruz says the companies also failed to correct the dangerous conditions.

In addition, Fluid Crane was at fault because it failed to take reasonable precautions for Cruz's safety, failed to provide capable workers, failed to properly train Cruz and it employees, used unsafe equipment in moving the vessel and failed to use ordinary care when it supervised and directed details of the work, according to the complaint.

Cruz is seeking an unspecified judgment, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief to which he may be entitled.

Tommy R. Hastings of Hastings Law Firm in Houston will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 126th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D183-713.

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