Deck hand sues after being knocked unconscious

Michelle Massey Jun. 16, 2010, 2:41am


A deck hand working aboard a tow boat has filed a Jones Act lawsuit after he was allegedly struck by a large cable and knocked unconscious.

Chad Ledet filed suit against Smith Marine Towing Corp. June 10 in federal court in New Orleans.

Ledet says he was working as a deck hand on the M/V Smith Hunter on Oct. 17, 2009 when he was told to transfer heavy cable from one boat to another. During the move, Ledet says he was hit by the large cable that knocked him approximately 20 feet and left him unconscious.

Ledet says he suffered severe, debilitating, disfiguring and permanent injuries to his back during the incident.

Smith Marine Towing Corp. is accused of negligence for failing to provide competent supervision, ordering Ledet to perform an unsafe task and failing to use alternative and safer methods to transfer cable.

Ledet argues the vessel Smith Hunter was unseaworthy due to incompetent supervision and insufficient crew to perform work.

Ledet is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, loss of earnings and earning capacity, medical expenses, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disability, interest and court costs.

The plaintiff is also seeking maintenance, cure and unearned wages until he has reached maximum medical improvement.

New Orleans attorney Stephen P. Bruno of Bruno & Bruno is representing Ledet.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01713

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