Leonel worked as a deckhand for Transoceanic Cable Ship Company, Inc. aboard the TYCO DECISIVE, a dredger. Transoceanic hired Leonel through the Seafarers International Union.
Leonel was helping one of his co-workers stack cable lines when he slipped on water and fell to the ground.
Initially, Transoceanic provided Leonel with some maintenance and cure benefits. However, once it became apparent that Leonel suffered a serious spine injury, the company started treating Leonel differently. For example, the company wanted Leonel to see different doctors because it did not like Leonel's prognosis. After a while, the company stopped providing Leonel with any maintenance or cure payments.
VB lawyers filed the case in Harris County, Texas. Transoceanic's lawyers filed papers saying this offshore accident was not their client's fault, and they fought liability very hard. After much battle on this issue, VB lawyers were eventually successful in obtaining a videotape of Leonel's offshore slip and fall accident. It turns out the company and its lawyers had this videotape all along, and were hoping Leonel and his lawyers would give up before getting a copy of it. This videotape was instrumental to the V&B attorneys in proving this offshore accident was Transoceanic's fault.
Turning to damages, Leonel's doctors said he needed a spine fusion surgery. Leonel ended up having this surgery. VB's lawyers built Leonel's damages case based on his serious spine injury and showed that Leonel would lose much of his future work earning capacity.
The parties attended a mediation of the case. Transoceanic offered a very low amount of money to Leonel to settle his case, saying they would rather go to trial than pay him more money. Leonel, in consultation with his VB's lawyers, refused the offer and continued to work up the case.
Transoceanic agreed to mediate the case again, shortly before the trial date. At this second mediation, VB's lawyers negotiated a settlement for Leonel. Leonel was very happy with the terms of the settlement, which will provide him with funds over the remainder of his lifetime.