A Texas City company is suing a Galveston casino boat company, asserting 2017 construction work to accommodate the firm’s vessel has gone unpaid.

Piling Inc. filed a lawsuit against casino boat company Jacks or Better in the Galveston County Court at Law No. 2, asserting it’s owed about $18,000.

The Texas City company specializing in dock construction and maintenance work reached an agreement with the casino boat company in March 2017 to install pilings to prepare for the boat’s arrival at the Galveston Yacht Basin, the lawsuit asserts.

The work was completed in April 2017, but the casino company hasn’t paid for the work, the lawsuit asserts.

The suit is not the first time the casino boat company has courted controversy.

The company tried to regain support after its vessel was involved in an accident by asking Facebook followers to vote on whether the boat’s captain should keep his job.

The boat hit a channel marker at the mouth of the Galveston Ship Channel, leaving a 100-foot-long gash in the side of the ship, less than two weeks after its first cruise from Galveston.

The boat moved to Galveston in April 2017 after previously operating out of Aransas Pass.

It features two decks of games, including slot machines, craps and roulette. Gambling is illegal in Texas, so the boat takes people out to territorial waters, about 12 miles off the coast, so that they can gamble legally.

The defendants have not yet responded to the lawsuit, court records show.


A hearing is set for later in March in the case of a woman asserting that Trinity Episcopal School and its leaders failed to stop her child from being bullied and subjected to racist insults.

A Galveston woman filed the lawsuit May 5, 2017 against the school, headmaster Rev. David Dearman and the parents of three students. Neither the parents nor the accused children are identified by name in the petition.

The plaintiff’s son, who is African-American, attended Trinity Episcopal School from 2014 to 2016, when his mother withdrew him because of bullying and harassment, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks $1 million in damages.

The woman is named in the lawsuit, but The Daily News has withheld that information to protect the identity of her minor son. The woman is an employee of The Daily News.

Attorneys for the school in August asked for the suit to be dismissed, arguing that the school is protected from legal claims under the First Amendment as a religious institution.

But attorneys for the woman in a February filing contested that claim, asserting that the matter doesn’t involve internal church matters and that the school failed to protect the student.

The plaintiffs’ February response also included several sworn affidavits from parents of former Trinity students and other members of the community, who expressed concern about similar bullying incidents and racial comments.

The defendants have filed a motion asking for much of the affidavits to be struck from the record because of hearsay, records show.

A hearing on Trinity’s plea to the jurisdiction is set for March 23, but that hearing has already been pushed back two times, records show.


A Galveston County man is suing a Texas City man, asserting he was attacked by the man’s dog while visiting his property in February 2017.

Michael Bush filed the suit against Kristopher Brent Sanders on Feb. 16 in the 10th District Court.

While Bush was visiting Sanders in February 2017, a loose dog attacked him and the defendant didn’t do enough to stop it, the suit asserts.

Sanders filed a response March 8, generally denying the accusations, records show.

The suit seeks between $200,000 and $1 million in damages, records show.


A Galveston County man Monday sued a Deer Park business with a location in Texas City, asserting that he was poisoned while working for the company in 2017.

James Earl Jones filed suit against HydroChem on Monday in the 405th District Court in Galveston, asserting that he worked as a laborer for the company between September and October 2017.

“In the manufacture of defendant’s products, there are certain processes that involve great danger and risk to the person employed in the plant, due to hazardous chemicals and other ingredients used in the processes, which are thrown into the air,” according to the complaint.

Jones was not aware of the danger while working for the company and was poisoned by fumes and substances, the lawsuit asserts.

“Such poisoning caused plaintiff to suffer from extreme fatigue, confusion and throat irritation,” the lawsuit asserts. “By reason of such poisoning, plaintiff has become disabled and has sustained painful, permanent and lasting injury and loss of health.”

The suit seeks about $75,000 in damages, records show.

The defendant has not yet responded to the suit.


Two trials are set for Galveston County courts this week, Assistant Criminal District Attorney Bill Reed, the felony division chief, said.

The 10th District Court will host a jury to hear evidence against Leonard Lee Smith, 56, on charges of assault with intent to restrict breathing of a family member with previous convictions and assault of a family member with previous convictions.

The 122nd District Court will host a jury to hear evidence against Kenshara Ren’e Washington, 26, on a charge of aggravated assault of a family member with a weapon.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com


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