Last September, a liftboat accident set 10 men adrift on a lifeboat in the Gulf of Mexico after abandoning the Trinity II rig during the height of Tropical Storm Nate. Three men died during the ordeal, and another passed away shortly after the group was rescued.
In wake of the accident, two survivors filed a Louisiana maritime accident lawsuit, claiming negligence on the part of Australia-based liftboat operator Mermaid Marine and its American business partners, Trinity Liftboat Services and Geokinetics, Inc.
Three other survivors have filed a similar lawsuit in Texas.
Defendants Seeking to Limit Liability
Trinity Liftboat Services, the Louisiana Company that owned the liftboat on which the men were working, recently filed a petition in Louisiana federal court to limit their legal liability. According to the filing, the company is requesting “exoneration from or limitation of liability for all claims of damage, injury, loss, death or destruction” resulting from the maritime accident.
In the Texas case, Mermaid Marine is denying liability. It says that the men’s ordeal was the result of their own negligence and lack of care.
The victims, who were stationed on a mobile supply rig, say that the crew of the Mermaid Marine abandoned them as the storm came. Instead of rescuing the workers from their damaged vessel, the ship’s crew headed for port.
The workers had to abandon their liftboat and only had a single lifeboat to share between the 10 of them. They say Mermaid’s behavior was “cowardly and tantamount to murder, manslaughter and mayhem at sea.”