Maersk Alabama Crew Member Files Lawsuit Against Employer for Failing to Protect Him from Pirates

Apr 27, 2009, 10:24 ET from Terry Bryant

HOUSTON, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Royal Palm Beach, Florida resident Richard E. Hicks is filing a lawsuit today against his employer, Waterman Steamship Corporation and Maersk Line, Ltd. for knowingly sending him into pirate-infested waters near Somalia without adequate protection.

Hicks was taken hostage by Somali pirates April 8 while working as chief steward preparing food for crewmembers. When Hicks heard over the loudspeaker that pirates were on board, he and other crewmembers gathered in the engine/steering room for nearly 12 hours.

"The engine room was dark and hot, maybe 130 degrees," Says Hicks. "We were all cramping up with heat stroke symptoms when we were able to take a pirate hostage and tried to negotiate the return of our Captain."

Pirates promised to exchange the ship's Captain for the pirate hostage but

instead escaped with the Captain and their pirate crewmember.

Richard Hicks attorney, Terry Bryant says the ship owners' knowingly exposed their employees to imminent danger and took no steps to provide appropriate levels of security and safety for its employees.

"Waterman Steamship Corporation and Maersk Line Limited chose to rely on the United States Military and taxpayers to provide after-the-fact rescue

operations," Says Bryant. "This choice caused substantially more cost and

risk to human life than what would have been incurred by Defendants had they provided appropriate levels of security in the first place."

Hicks says he still suffers from injuries as a result of the incident and is afraid to return to his work as a chief steward.

Terry Bryant is a Texas board-certified personal injury attorney and former judge. Terry Bryant's principal office is based in Houston, Texas.

SOURCE Terry Bryant