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Tote Services sued by family of missing El Faro crewmen

When Marion County residents hold dangerous jobs, many may believe that knowingly assume any of the risks that come with them. While that may be deemed true in certain cases, such workers and their families should still reasonably expect employers to provide working conditions that are as safe as possible in order to avoid the potential for injury or death. If such standards are not met, and the result of such apparent negligence results in death, then victims’ family members may have cause to pursue a wrongful death claim.

These are the allegations being leveled at Tote Services Inc. by the family of one of the 33 people that are presumed to have drowned following the widely-reported sinking of the cargo ship El Faro off the coast of the Bahamas. In a wrongful death lawsuit filed against both Tote Services and Tote Maritime Puerto Rico, along with the captain of the ship, the family alleges that the vessel was not in adequate shape to survive the hurricane conditions that it knowingly sailed into. Since the sinking, the company has maintained that the captain of the ship had a good plan in place to sail around the storm. However, the loss of the ship’s propulsion left it fully exposed to the oncoming hurricane.

Even though mariners and workers in other potentially dangerous industries understand the hazards that their jobs may pose, timely maintenance of equipment and sound judgment are still expected to be exercised in order to guarantee their safety. Even if unforeseen events arise that lead to accidents, any poor decisions that may have led up to those events could certainly be seen as negligence. When arguing a wrongful death case, one’s chances of proving such negligence may be enhanced by the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Source: Reuters “Family of sunken El Faro crew member files $100 million lawsuit” David Adams and Barbara Liston, Oct. 14, 2015

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