Seamen blames boat owner for low back injuries

Michelle Massey Jun. 15, 2010, 3:48am


A seaman claims a vessel's unseaworthiness caused him to hurt his lower back several times.

Kearney Menard filed suit against Aries Marine June 3 in federal court in New Orleans.

Menard says the first injury happened July 23, 2009 when he was bringing the vessel online and an alarm sounded. Menard says he got out of his chair to silence the alarm when the vessel rolled, causing him to twist and injure his back.

Menard claims he hurt his lower back again on Nov. 21, 2009, when the vessel rolled and caused a "snap and pop" in his back.

The plaintiff claims his two previous lower back injuries caused him further harm Feb. 22, 2010 when Menard says he felt a sharp pain in his back while climbing stairs. He says the pain was so severe, it caused him to fall back down the stairs.

The lawsuit accuses Aries Marine of failing to maintain the vessel in a seaworthy condition that resulted in Menard's injuries.

According to court records, Menard sustained severe and disabling injuries to his back, hip and left side during the incidents.

Menard is seeking damages for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, physical disfigurement, lost earnings, found damages, interest and court costs.

Houston attorney Steven J. Gordon of Gordon, Elias & Seely is representing Menard. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01646

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