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Ernest Williams, 69, of Arnaudville, died April 15 as a result of the Seacor Power lift boat capsizing near Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

The family of Ernest P. Williams Jr. of Arnaudville, a cook who died April 13 when the lift boat Seacor Power flipped in the Gulf of Mexico, has filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages.

Williams, 69, was among 19 people aboard the Seacor Power when it left Port Fourchon  around 1:30 p.m. despite poor weather conditions. The boat reportedly capsized around 4:30 p.m.

Six crew members were rescued the same day. Six bodies were later recovered, including Williams, whose body was found in the water April 16, near Cocodrie, about 30 miles west of the mostly submerged vessel.

Seven men remain missing. Volunteers have been scouring the Louisiana coast by sea and air.

Ernest Williams, victim from Seacor Power, loved to cook for his hardworking co-workers

The personal injury and wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the Morris Bart law firm in St. Mary Parish because Seacor Liftboats' principal place of business is Morgan City. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Williams' wife, Verley Ann Williams, and adult children Vivian Wright, Daton Williams, Brandy W. Norris, Ernest Williams, April Williams, Albert Williams, Veronica Stiner, Mitchell Stiner and Bryson Williams.

Named defendants in the lawsuit are Seacor Marine, Seacor Liftboats, Talos Energy and Semco.

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The survivors allege in the lawsuit that the companies ignored warnings of possible severe weather in the area.

"Defendants put their profits over the safety and lives of its crew members and ordered the Seacor Power to leave port to deliver equipment to a Talos drilling site about 40 miles east of Venice," the lawsuit alleges.

The family is seeking a jury trial. 

Seacor crewmember's family files suit, others expected to follow, according to lawyer

The Williams family lawsuit is at least the third filed by surviving family members of those who were aboard the Seacor Power. 

The families of two men who remain missing filed lawsuits in Houston, where Seacor Marine and Talos Energy are headquartered.

Hannah Daspit, wife of Dylan Daspit of Lafayette, and Krista Vercher, also of Lafayette, the fiancée of missing crewman Jay Guevara Jr., filed lawsuits in Houston each seeking more than $25 million in damages.


Email Claire Taylor at ctaylor@theadvocate.com.