Captain sues after rough seas cause him to fall out of bunk

Michelle Massey May 24, 2010, 8:12am

The captain of the M/V Crystal Clear is suing his employer after he fell out of his bunk bed during rough seas.

Michael Bonham filed suit against Jewel Marine, Inc. on May 12 in federal court in New Orleans.

He claims a first incident occurred in Oct. 3, 2009, when the vessel was in rough seas in the Gulf of Mexico. Bonham states he was thrown out of his bunk bed and injured his lumbar spine and head.

He accuses the defendant of negligence for failing to repair his crudely modified bunk area and for operating the vessel in excessive seas instead of returning to safe harbor.

A similar incident occurred a month later, when Bonham was again thrown out of his bunk bed due to the extremely rough seas in the gulf. He claims he sustained severe injuries to his lumbar spine and head and the injuries were sufficient to cause him to be removed from the vessel and evacuated by helicopter to a local hospital.

According to the complaint, Bonham was previously injured on May 7, 2009, when he unexpectedly lost his footing and fell after the vessel hit the platform where it was located. Bonham claims he sustained severe injuries to his lumbar and cervical spine, head and other parts of his body.

Bonham is seeking damages for physical pain and mental anguish, loss of wages and benefits, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, physical impairment, loss of household services, loss of enjoyment of life, maintenance, cure benefits, attorney's fees, interest and court costs.

New Orleans attorneys Lawrence Blake Jones, David C. Whitmore and Kristi A. Post of Scheuermann and Jones, L.L.C. are representing Bonham.

U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01449

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