Shrimper Struck in Head by Pulley, Dies Later



Austin Personal Injury Lawyers

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers - Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 19, 2015 – A shrimper was hit in the head by a pulley as a product was being off-loaded from a boat to the dock. He later died of his injuries.

Minh Hong Nguyen was working on the fishing vessel “Lady More” in Sabine Pass, Texas, in August 2013. At the time of the accident that subsequently killed him, he was transferring a load of shrimp from the ship to the dock while waters were navigable. He was hit in the head by a pulley as it went past him before being deposited on the dock.

Although Nguyen was taken to the hospital, he succumbed to his injuries, leaving behind a wife and child. The widow chose to file a wrongful death lawsuit, a civil action, under the auspices of the Texas Survivor’s Act and the Jones Act.

The Jones Act is federal legislation pertaining to injuries and accidents sustained by American workers while they are at sea. Also referred to as the Merchant Marine Act (1920), “It permits sailors who qualify to recover compensation from their employers,” said Brooks Schuelke, a respected wrongful death attorney in Austin, Texas, who is not involved in this case.

The statement of claim alleges that the named defendants did not properly train or supervise the ship’s crew, maintain and inspect the vessel with due care and did not provide suitable safety equipment or medical treatment to Nguyen.

Accordingly, the wrongful death lawsuit seeks compensation for mental anguish, financial loss, medical bills, loss of companionship, funeral and burial expenses and exemplary damages.

“Cases such as this one must have an element of negligence involved. Based on the statement of claim, that element may indeed be present, but that will be decided in court, unless the matter is settled out of court,” said Schuelke. “The plaintiff in most wrongful death lawsuits is not just seeking monetary compensation, but wishes to send the defendants a strong message that what happened to their loved one should never happen to anyone else.”

In some instances, changes are made at a company or an adjustment to increase safety is implemented because of a wrongful death lawsuit.

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