Cook injured in Leith ship toppling launches £7m lawsuit

Magin Luis Caballero launched legal action after the RV Petrel tipped due to strong winds at Imperial dock in March 2023.

A cook who was left with “life-changing injuries” after a ship toppled over in Leith has launched a £7m lawsuit against the US Government.

The RV Petrel collapsed at Imperial Dock on March 22 last year leaving 35 people injured.

The vessel, owned by the US Navy and operated by Oceaneering International Ltd, tipped over to a 45-degree angle.

Magin Luis Caballero was among those injured when the vessel dislodged from its holding – with several media reports stating that he was “launched into a table”.

The Petrel, owned by the US Navy, was left leaning at a 45-degree angle in the dry dock.@Tomafc83 /Twitter

Legal documents claim Mr Caballero – who was working under US Navy contractor Oceaneering International – has been unable to work and continues to require “serious and ongoing” medical care.

The lawyers of Mr Caballero, who is from Houston, claimed the US government were negligent and failed to provide a safe working environment for the cook.

His legal claim was lodged at US District Court in Texas but a judge ruled that the case should be heard in Florida – where the RV Petrel is currently docked.

Reports claim that Mr Caballero is seeking $10m for suffering “mental anguish, pain and suffering, physical impairment and disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life” as a result of the toppling.

The vessel – which measures 250ft and weighs over 3,000 tonnes – had been moored at Leith since September 2020 due to “operational challenges” from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 76m-long Petrel was once owned by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who bought the ship to locate historically significant shipwrecks and discovered 30 sunken warships, including the Japanese Imperial Navy’s IJN Musashi.

However, in 2022, the Isle of Man-registered vessel was sold to the US Navy and is now operated by American-owned firm Oceaneering International.

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