Three seaman sue vessel after receiving back injuries

Michelle Massey Jun. 1, 2010, 3:33am

Three seamen have filed separate Jones Act lawsuits after allegedly suffering back injuries while working on a vessel owned by Omega Protein.

Antonio McCorvey, Thomas Gates and R.J. Williams filed suit against Omega Protein May 24 in federal court in New Orleans.

McCorvey claims he was injured while working as a bowman on the M/V Tiger Point and its purse boats Aug. 7, 2008. As he was unhooking the boats, McCorvey says a hook broke causing him to fall back onto the cat head and deck of the boat. He says the fall caused him to injure his neck and back.

The lawsuit filed by Gates states he was injured when he slipped and fell while working on the same commercial fishing vessel Oct. 9, 2008. He claims he sustained serious back injuries in the fall.

Williams says he was injured May 28, 2009 when he fell over equipment that had been left on the deck of the vessel. He also claims he suffered further injures June 9, 2009 while extracting fishing net that had been encased in mud.

The men are accusing the defendant of negligence for failing to supervise its crew and train employees, failing to provide adequate safety equipment and maintain the vessel, failing to provide adequate and immediate medical attention and for providing employees with negligent instructions.

McCorvey, Gates and Williams are seeking damages for physical pain, medical expenses, mental anguish, severe pain, physical impairment, discomfort, mental anguish, distress, loss of earnings, maintenance and cure, punitive damages, interest and attorneys' fees.

Houston attorney Robert P. Wynee of Arnold & Itkin is representing the plaintiffs.

U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt is assigned to the McCorvey case. U.S. District Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle is assigned to the Gates case. U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon is assigned to the Williams case.

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