SE Texas Record

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Seaman blames ship owner for his injuries

By The SE Texas Record | Jul 1, 2016


GALVESTON — A Galveston County man is suing a ship owner, alleging insufficient measures were taken to prevent injuries.

James E. Gowdy filed a lawsuit June 29 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Marine Spill Response Corporation and the OSRV New Jersey Responder, alleging negligence in failing to provide a seaworthy vessel.

According to the complaint, on Aug. 2, 2013, in the course and scope of his employment Gowdy was ordered to remove a hatch cover from the starboard side tank on the OSRV New Jersey Responder. As he descended, the suit says, he became aware that the area below him was cluttered with equipment and tools and he was forced to step to his left to land on an open part of the floor, causing his left foot to land on uneven footing created by a pump platform. 

As a result of the impact, the lawsuit states, he sustained injuries to his left foot and other parts of his body. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to provide a safe place to work, ordered him to remove a hatch from an unsafe position, failed to provide adequate supervision and instruction in performing the task, and failed to maintain the working area in a safe and uncluttered condition.

Gowdy seeks a trial by jury, judgment against defendants in a total sum of more than the minimum jurisdictional limits of the court, pre- and post-judgment interest, all court costs, and all other relief to which he is entitled. He is represented by attorneys Matthew D. Shaffer of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris LLP in Houston.

Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case number 3:16-cv-00169

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Marine Spill Response Corporation US District Court for the Southern District of Texas Galveston Division

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