The Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves on Monday heard a presentation from attorneys Tim Beeton and Jimmy Williamson regarding claims relating to the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill two years ago.
“The proposal indicates that Mr. Williamson’s law firm, along with the firm of Simpson & Beeton, would represent the port in making a claim against British Petroleum for economic losses,” reported Port of Galveston Executive Director Michael Mierzwa, noting that Beeton would not take an active part in the litigation because his wife, Elizabeth, is on Galveston City Council. Stretch Lewis would likely represent Simpson & Beeton on the case. Listen
“Those law firms would advance all expenses associated with prosecuting this claim,” Mierzwa said.
The wharves board instructed Mierzwa to arrange a meeting between Williamson and attorneys from Greer, Herz & Adams, who are working on litigation related to recovering damages from Hurricane Ike so that their efforts do not clash.
In his report to the wharves board, Mierzwa said that because of the lawsuit against insurance companies on the Hurricane Ike issue, operating expenses are higher than budgeted.
“We’ve been running in the red here for the last couple of months,” he said. “Between the legal expenses and our grain business not being where we need it to be it’s causing us to run a little bit behind our projected revenues and our expenses are a lot higher than we anticipated.”
However, Mierzwa said that “the rest of the port business is going quite well.”
Mierzwa said that the port received its second shipment of GE wind towers in April.
“This was the first shipment that left the port by rail,” he said. “The loading went extremely well.”
He credited Metro Suderman Stevedores and the ILA “for the efficient manner they offloaded the towers from the ship and loaded them onto the rail cars.”
He said that GE was impressed with the operation, as well.
The wharves board voted to approve an amendment to the lease between the port and Williams Party Boats, Inc. to reduce the amount of insurance coverage for the lease.
The wharves board approved an amendment to the lease with Malin International Ship Repair & Drydock, Inc. to reduce the size of the leased premises and the amount of rent paid under the lease.
The wharves board discussed in executive session, a settlement offer in a lawsuit filed by Teddy O’Rourke, but rejected the settlement during the open portion of the meeting.
The members discussed issues related to the Shearn Moody Plaza Parking Garage and the Downtown Intermodal Transportation Terminal, but took no action.
All other action items were approved. All members were present and all votes were unanimous. Agenda
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