Seaman sues ship owner after falling down stairs

Michelle Massey Jun. 23, 2010, 11:00am

A seamen is suing his employer and a ship's owner, claiming a missing handrail on the vessel caused him to fall down a flight of stairs.

Antonio Jones filed suit against Kathryn Rae Towing, Plimsoll Marine and Cooper T. Smith June 7 in federal court in New Orleans.

Jones says he was working on the ship when he fell down a flight of stairs that was missing a handrail. He says he was jarred and thrown to the ground, injuring his back.

Jones accuses the defendants of failing to properly supervise and train their crew, failing to provide adequate safety equipment, failing to maintain their vessel, failing to provide adequate and immediate medical attention, failing to provide proper equipment, failing to install or repair the missing handrail on the stairwell and failing to warn of the missing handrail. The lawsuit also accuses the defendants of negligence for failing to comply with applicable safety regulations and standards, failing to maintain a workplace free from unnecessary hazards and failing to respond to complaints of a dangerous hazard.

Jones is seeking damages for physical pain, mental anguish, severe pain, physical impairment, discomfort, mental anguish, distress, loss of earnings, medical expenses, maintenance and cure, interest, attorneys' fees, punitive damages and court costs.

Houston attorney Robert P. Wynne of Arnold & Itkin is representing Jones.

U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01671

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