Welder sues ship owner over back injury

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Mar 17, 2010

GALVESTON - After sustaining a back injury while at work on a boat more than a year ago, a Jefferson County man is suing his employer in Galveston County Court.

Hector Vega's personal injury lawsuit against Mike Hooks Inc., which was filed March 16 in Galveston County Court No. 3, says the plaintiff was tasked with a responsibility that was never undertaken before and dangerous.

Vega was employed by the defendant as a welder and was a crew member onboard the vessel Missouri H.

Court papers explain that on July 21, 2008, the plaintiff was in the process of clearing a pipe so they could float it to the next location when the captain negligently ordered him to go to the shoreside of the pipe to weld an end plate.

"This practice had never been done before, was unsafe, and forced him to work in sinking sand and a rising tide," the original petition says.

"As he was prudently doing his job, he seriously injured his back."

Vega claims suffered mental anguish and lost earnings as a result of the alleged incident.

Consequently, he seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Houston attorneys Jeff Seely and R. Todd Elias of Gordon Elias & Sealy LLP in Houston are representing the plaintiff, and the case has been assigned to Galveston County Court No. 3 Judge Roy Quintanilla.

Cause No. 62,519

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