On the morning of August 21, the dredging vessel Waymon L. Boyd hit an underwater natural gas pipeline. The pipeline exploded and sank the vessel. It also sparked a fire that spread to a nearby grain elevator.
Four men died in the explosion and 6 were hospitalized with injuries. The vessel had a crew of 19 workers who were based out of Houston.
Within days, three wrongful death lawsuits were filed by the families of of Miguel Martinez, Rafael Espinoza, and Joel Rivera, seeking $50 million each for a total of $150 million.
Another $10 million injury lawsuit was filed by Jose Delgado, a man who was burned on his face, back and shoulders in the explosion. It was his first week on the job, his attorneys said.
Jose Cantu, who was working on the vessel, has filed a lawsuit in Nueces County. He is seeking more than $100 million in damages.
Lucio Silva also filed a lawsuit seeking at least $100 million for sustained severe bodily injuries, according to the lawsuit.
Orion Marine Construction Inc. is named as a defendant in all of the lawsuits. The company is based in Washington state and was working for Epic Marine Terminal, a customer at the Port of Corpus Christi in Texas. The underwater pipeline was owned by Enterprise Products.
The lawsuit claims the Epic and Enterprise defendants “failed to adequately plan the job, identify the pipeline in question, and warn the crew of the Waymon L. Boyd about the pipeline in question.”