GALVESTON - A local pier owner sued a Tyler man and his son for allegedly damaging his structure on Offats Bayou two months ago, according to recent court documents.

In a lawsuit filed Oct. 4 in Galveston County District Court, Dennis Byrd explains that Phillip Stockmeyer Martin and Phillip Martin Jr. drove their boat into the aforementioned pier last Aug. 5.

"The defendants were negligent in operating a boat on Offats Bayou in which they failed to maintain control and operate their boat with the necessary level of care required of them," the suit says.

"The defendants negligently crashed into and collided with the plaintiff's pier structure causing substantial damage to the plaintiff's pier structure."

Byrd additionally blames the Martins for negligent entrustment.

As the presumed owner of the vessel in question, the original petition states, the elder Martin entrusted it to his son though the former "knew or should have known of his son's incompetence to operate the boat or of his son's propensity for recklessness in the operation of the boat."

"As such, the defendant Phillip Stockmeyer Martin is liable to the plaintiff for the plaintiff's damages to his damaged pier as a result of the defendant's negligent entrusting the operation and control of the boat to his defendant son who subsequently and negligently drove the boat into the plaintiff's pier causing substantial injury and harm," the suit says.

Consequently, the claimant seeks $14,898 in damages and a jury trial.

He is represented by attorney Spencer G. Markle of Markle Delacruz LLP of Houston.

Case No. 13-CV-1278

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