Case Conclusion Date: September 10, 2010
Practice Area: Admiralty / Maritime
Outcome: Confidential Settlement
Description: Jones Act/Maritime – Wrongful Death Case: Cause No. 11886; Ludivina Ramos, Individually and as Representative of the Estate of Juan Rivera vs. Southwest Shipyard, L.P. and Kirby Inland Marine, L.P.; In the 129th Judicial District Court, Harris County, Texas. The Honorable Michael Gomez presiding. Date: September 6, 2010 Attorneys Chad D. Points and Tony Denena, Denena & Points, PC, Houston, Texas represented Ludivina Ramos in all her capacities. Defendants Southwest Shipyard, L.P. and Kirby Inland Marine, L.P. were represented by Jack C. Brock and Robert A. Davee of Mills Shirley, L.L.P. of Galveston, Texas. FACTS & ALLEGATIONS. Juan Rivera, 18, was working in the early morning hours at Southwest’s shipyard on a Kirby barge. The Kirby barge was deployed on navigable waters. The Defendants failed to provide Juan with a personal flotation device for use while performing his duties. While working, Juan fell overboard from the vessel and sustained serious bodily injuries which ultimately caused his death. The lawsuit was brought because the defendants failed to provide adequate safety equipment for their employees including Juan, failed to provide safe ingress and egress from the vessel and violated OSHA, MMG, USGC and other applicable regulations. INJURIES. Juan sustained severe injuries to his body which caused his death. In the short time he lived after falling overboard with no PFD, he suffered severe pain, mental anguish and distress knowing he was sure to die by drowning. Juan’s death caused and continues to cause great distress to his mother. When Ludivina and her husband divorced, Juan came to America with her and enrolled in high school in Mission, Texas. He then moved with his mother and lived with her here in Pasadena, Texas. Ludivina is most distraught at the missed opportunity at life for her wonderful, caring son Juan Rivera. RESULT. The parties agreed to a confidential settlement at mediation. Plaintiff Experts: Experts were not necessary given the liability and damage facts. Defendant Experts: Defendants settled before they had to disclose experts.