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Villarreal & Begum Last Updated Date: June 4th, 2021

$4.2M Awarded in Longshoreman’s Death


Thursday, the 5th circuit unanimously approved a judgment for $4.2 Million. The case involved a longshoreman whose life was taken prematurely due to a fatal fall. So far, this has been the second time the circuit court had to intervene in the case. They sent back the case to the lower court for some more minor revisions. Manson Gulf LLC was found to be responsible for the death of J.J LaFleur. Lafleur fell through the deck of a rig turned over for recycling. Mason was accused of violating maritime laws that protect ship workers when they handle scrapped rigs. The company failed to mark or inform workers of holes made in the rig. According to documents given to LaFleur, the company failed to mention any hazards, other than excess oil on the platform.

This case hinged on whether or not the hazard was obvious or not. The lower court ruled it was, and cleared Mason of any wrongdoing. However, the 5th circuit court reversed this decision. They said the judge mistakenly only considered selected reading of the evidence, and discounted witness testimony, which did indeed show the hole was not obvious. When sent back to the lower court the first time, the lower court held Mason Gulf responsibly and awarded Lafleur’s family $4.2 million. Mason took issue with this and disputed the award. So, the case went back to the 5th circuit court, which approved the award, with some expectations. The circuit found that the future damages awarded were miscalculated, but other than that, very little changed.

Wrongful Death Litigation

A wrongful death claim is substantially different than a normal personal injury case. Due to the complexities surrounding the burden of proof, it is important to have an attorney that is experienced with navigating the case law that is required to successfully present a case. Whereas with a personal injury case, the soft records of the injury can be used to provide documentation of the damages, in a wrongful death claim that type of documentation is not as easy to obtain. Having an attorney that can fight for the appropriate amount of compensation to assist the living beneficiaries with life after the person’s death is something that takes skill, compassion, and knowledge of the law.

If you have questions about filing a wrongful death claim, finding the right representation is essential. Our team of attorneys has vast experience in wrongful death claims.  We will do everything that we can to get the best possible result for the family members left behind. Call The Texas Law Guns at our San Antonio office or contact us online for a consultation so that we can show you how our expertise can work for you.