The morning of August 21, our client was working in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel on the Waymon L. Boyd, a dredging vessel owned by Orion Marine Group. At approximately 8 a.m., the dredge struck a submerged propane pipeline and triggered an explosion. The explosion ignited a fire on the vessel, which spread to a nearby grain elevator. Eight workers were injured and four were missing, later confirmed killed during recovery efforts. Of the eight injured workers, six were hospitalized at local hospitals and burn units.
Our client was among those severely burned as a result of the explosion.
Initial reports indicate there were portions of the pipeline which were not clearly marked and that the crew of the Waymon L. Boyd was not adequately warned. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident to determine the cause and who was at fault, but the agency’s investigation could take until February 2021 until the public has answers.
Our client cannot wait that long.
Burn Injuries & Serious Trauma
The dredging vessel caught fire in the explosion and sank rapidly as a result. Regardless of which part of the pipeline was marked or not, this was a joint failure on the part of Orion Marine Group, Epic Crude Holdings, and Enterprise Products. Orion Marine Group failed to survey the area for dredging and provide a seaworthy vessel for our client, and Epic Crude and Enterprise Products failed to warn the crew of the dredging vessel about the pipeline. The dredging job was poorly planned and negligently executed, and it resulted in grievous harm to our client, his wife, and their children.
Our client has suffered serious burns, head injuries, cognitive injuries, mental anguish, and emotional distress due to the violent trauma of the incident. His injuries have also caused a great deal of anguish and suffering for his wife and their young children.
Burn injuries are the most damaging and costly injuries a person can suffer. They burden victims with difficulty moving, breathing, or enjoying a high quality of life. Third degree burns often require the care of multiple medical experts and around-the-clock attention during the initial hospitalization, which is why burn injuries historically accrue seven-figure hospital bills, with lifetime medical costs reaching eight figures. Even in the best hands, burn injuries can require reconstructive surgery that may still leave the patient permanently scarred and disfigured.
Head injuries, cognitive damage, and trauma cause serious injuries of a different nature, as each of these injuries can rob a person of their peace of mind and can even permanently change their personality and their relationships. Suffering a serious trauma will impair our client’s quality of life for a long time, perhaps permanently. He and his family deserve justice, plain and simple.
No Excuse for This Kind of Maritime Disaster
Our Orion Marine Group barge explosion attorneys have filed suit against multiple defendants for their role in harming our client. We are proud to represent him in his fight to recover from his grievous, tragic, and preventable injuries. Our firm hopes to recover enough compensation to give him, his wife, and his children the ability to heal and recover without fear of the future. It’s the least they deserve.
“This type of maritime disaster should never have happened,” said Attorney Kurt Arnold. “There’s no excuse for it. We are determined to discover the full truth of why this happened and ensure that the companies accept full responsibility for the severity of the consequences. The defendants need to do the right thing to take care of these workers and their families. We’re committed to making sure a disaster like this never happens again.”
The case was filed in Nueces County, Texas.
Read our blog on the Corpus Christi dredge accident to learn more about this case.