Family of barge worker killed suing for wrongful death

Family of barge worker killed suing for wrongful death

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The family of a man who died after the barge he was working on capsized in the Mississippi River near Blytheville last year is suing for wrongful death.

In April 2014 Nicolas Perez Hernandez and Juan Nieves died when the barge overturned while it was being unloaded at the Kinder Morgan terminal.

Hernandez's body was recovered ten days later, 17 miles downstream. Nieves' body was never found.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, Aug. 10, in U.S. District Court in Jonesboro, names Cooper Marine & Timberlands, Logistic Services, and Severstal U.S. Holdings as the defendants.

According to the court documents, Hernandez was working as a longshoreman for Kinder Morgan on April 8, 2014, when a barge carrying 46 hot-rolled steel coils arrived at the Hickman facility.

As the barge was being unloaded, two steel coils suddenly rolled to the shoreward side of the barge causing it to severely list, the affidavit stated.

As the barge listed, approximately 20 more coils rolled to the shoreward side of the barge causing it to capsize and sink.

Attorneys for Hernandez's estate claim the defendants were negligent and failed to ensure the safety of the loading and unloading of the coils.

The lawsuit seeks a minimum of $75,000 in damages for medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, damages for the value of the loss of Hernandez's life, pain and anguish, damages for mental and emotional anguish and economic losses suffered by his beneficiaries.

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