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A Galveston Vessel Crewmember Suffers Injuries After Falling Through an Open Hatch

Photo of Angelina Wike

A Galveston man filed a lawsuit in the Galveston County District Court against Del Monte Fresh Produce (Texas) Inc., and Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc. (collectively "Del Monte") for injuries suffered while working as a crewmember aboard the M/V Star Leader vessel. The incident causing the crewmember's injuries took place in May of 2019 and the lawsuit was filed a few short months later.

While working in the course and scope of his employment aboard the cargo vessel, the crew member fell through an open hatch on the deck "A." In his petition, the crewmember alleges the incident occurred because another M/V Star Leader crewmember prematurely opened the hatch. As a result of falling through the open hatch, the crewmember suffered severe injuries and was taken to University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston by ambulance.

The crewmember contends Del Monte had ownership and/or control over the M/V Star Leader. Asa result, Del Monte had a duty to exercise such degree of care that a reasonably careful company would use to avoid harm to others under circumstances similar to the one involving the crewmember. The crewmember further contends that Del Monte was negligent, careless, and in reckless disregard of its duty. The crewmember includes examples of Del Monte's negligence such as: rushing operations in a manner that caused its employees to perform operations in an unsafe manner and injuring the crewmember by an ongoing dangerous activity that was created by its employees and agents, among others. Moreover, the crewmember argues that Del Monte failed to (a) operate the vessel's hatches in accordance with applicable policies, procedures, guidelines and standards for safe casing operations; (b) adequately warn of or make safe dangers or conditions of which Del Monte had knew of or should have known; (c) properly train, supervise, and monitor its employees.

The crewmember is seeking to recover damages for past and future medical care and expenses, physical impairment, disfigurement, pain, suffering, and mental anguish, as well as past lost wages and future loss of earning capacity. Moreover, the crewmember seeks pre-judgment and post-judgment interests and all court costs. The monetary relief the crewmember seeks is over $1,000,000.

If you or someone you know has been injured by the negligence of others, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1-800-594-4884.

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