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Port of Corpus Christi

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Port of Corpus Christi

The Port of Corpus Christi was established to leverage commerce and drive prosperity for the City of Corpus Christi and the coastal bend. Based on total revenue tonnage, the Port is the largest in the United States and the country’s largest energy export gateway. The Port maintains a 54-foot-deep channel adjacent to connecting Texas highways Interstate 37 and Highway 181, three Class I railroads – BNSF, KCS, and UP. Cargo running through these instrumentalities include dry bulk, break bulk, liquid bulk, wind energy, and project cargo. Facilities that act as a holding unit for these goods include cargo docks, bulk terminals, and liquid docks. Therefore, the Port is a thriving place for maritime workers, longshore workers, Jones Act workers, dock workers, and seamen in general.

Split between La Quinta Ship Channel and Corpus Christi Ship Channel. Many well-known companies are involved in importing and exporting oil and gas. Notable companies include Citgo, Valero, Buckeye Texas, Oxy Chemical, Moda Midstream, and Cheniere. Companies involved in operations of the Port include BNSF Railways, Bay Houston Towing, Best Bet Line Handlers, Daniel B Hastings Freight Forwarders, and E Squared Marine Services. These companies are involved in activities such as operating their heavy lift terminals, container operations, project, and breakbulk operations, roll on/off operations, foreign trade zones, and rail services

Port of Corpus Christi
  •  Accidents that pose a danger to the workers and environment around the Port of Corpus Christi may also occur at the Port from the activities on the Port. Examples of accidents that may occur are but are not limited to collisions, fires/explosions, ship groundings, chemical spills, overboard accidents, slips and falls, crane accidents, unsafe working conditions leading to injury, toxic chemical exposure/ exposure to cancerous substances, unsuitable equipment and insufficient training leading to injury. There is also a risk of cargo being accidentally dropped on workers or machinery malfunctioning.

From these accidents listed, injuries that could occur at the Port vary from the level of pain and body parts affected and can even have severe consequences. Examples of injuries that may occur are but are not limited to back and neck injuries, herniated discs and brain injuries, loss of limbs, lung problems, torn muscles, ligaments, or tendons, broken bones, burns compartment syndrome, crush injuries, deep cuts or lacerations, and drowning or near-drowning incidents. Traumatic brain injuries, smoke inhalation, and even cancers due to chemical exposure are faced at a higher risk for longshoremen and other dock workers.

Although the potential dangers above may scare people from engaging in activities in the Port of Corpus Christi, it remains a thriving center of trade and commerce. Many efforts are made to ensure the safety of workers and the environment around the Port.

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$7.86 Million

$7.86 Million – Gillies V. Valaris PLC

Claims: Jones Act/Maritime Law

Jury Verdict: $7.86 million – Gillies v. Valaris PLC

On January 12, 2022, Doyle Dennis Avery LLP secured a $7.86 million verdict on behalf of Gordon Gillies, a drill ship operations adviser, who was injured while working on a vessel in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Gillies brought claims for negligence against Valaris PLC (formerly Ensco/Rowan Drilling) and for unseaworthiness of its vessel, the drillship DS-15.  At trial, the jury determined that Valaris failed to maintain a stair case from the derrick elevator down to the “deadman” deck of the vessel.  Specifically, the second step on the stair case lacked a protective bullnose – an important safety guard at the end of each step. As a result of this defect, Mr. Gillies fell and suffered injuries to his tail bone, back, and spine.

After hearing four days of testimony and argument in the 270th District Court of Harris County, the jury attributed 90% of the negligence that caused the client’s injuries to Valaris and only 10% to the client. Even more telling, the jury attributed 99% of the unseaworthiness of the ship to Valaris and only 1% to the client.

Ultimately, the jury agreed with Doyle Dennis Avery LLP and found that Valaris was negligent in creating the dangerous conditions on the ship. The jury awarded $1,821,000 in past damages (including pain, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement, impairment, and medical care) and $6,040,000 in future damages (including pain, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, impairment, and medical care).


$350,000 – Deaver V. Noble Drilling (US) LLC

Claims: Jones Act/Maintenance and Cure/Unseaworthiness

Jury Verdict: $350,000.00 ($340,500.00 after contributory negligence offset; judgment not yet entered).

On June 15, 2018, a Harris County District Court Jury (Houston, Texas) found that Noble Drilling (US) LLC provided an unseaworthy vessel that caused injuries to Nathan Deaver. The jury also found that Noble unreasonably and callously failed to provide Mr. Deaver with maintenance and cure benefits. Michael Patrick Doyle, Patrick Dennis, and Jeffrey Avery of Doyle Dennis Avery LLP represented Mr. Deaver as trial counsel.
The plaintiff is a Texas resident who worked as a floor hand on the drillship the M/V Noble Tom Madden – a vessel owned and operated by the Houston-based Noble Drilling. In more detail, Mr. Deaver claimed that Noble failed to provide a vessel with a properly manned and experienced crew, and that Noble also failed to provide proper safety instructions related to his work in the shaker room aboard the vessel. Despite repeated requests to Noble by Mr. Deaver, Noble failed to provide Mr. Deaver with the necessary staffing and caused Mr. Deaver to suffer injury to his ankle, heel, and foot.
Based on this conduct, the jury found that M/V Tom Madden was unseaworthy and that Noble was responsible for Mr. Deaver’s injuries.