Lawsuit claims rash forced Louisiana resident to move to Arizona

Michelle Massey Jul. 7, 2010, 4:34am

A former longshoreman is suing a Louisiana company, claiming his reaction to an unknown liquid on a ship forced him to move out of state.

Warren Scott Frasher filed suit against John W. Stone Oil Distributor June 23 in federal court in New Orleans.

Frasher was a longshoreman, sand blaster and painter hired by J. Dunning to work on the M/V Moose, a boat owned by the defendant. Frasher says he was paid to remove the liquid inside of two tanks aboard the M/V Moose, sand blast the inside of the tanks and repaint them.

According to court records, the liquid appeared to be stagnant and a mixture of three different liquids that had separated. The Captain of the M/V Moose did not know what the liquid was but supplied Frasher and his co-workers with a Hazmat container for storing the liquid after it was removed.

Frasher says the liquid was removed with a pump before he began scraping the residue off the inside of the tanks.

When the job was over, Frasher says he noticed a rash on his arms. Frasher says his supervisor told him the rash was likely an allergic reaction to something in the tanks and would probably go away.

Frasher claims the rash continued to get worse and spread to other parts of his body. Frasher says the rash was so severe he was forced to move to another part of the country with a different climate.

"Plaintiff has been diagnosed and treated for contact dermatitis and he is not able to work because of the rash as he must avoid the sun since anytime he sweats the rash gets worse. Plaintiff has moved to Arizona to be in a dry climate to control the rash," the lawsuit reads.

The defendant is accused of failing to warn regarding the latent or hidden dangers of the vessel, failing to provide a safe place to work and failing to provide proper equipment and personnel to accomplish the task.

Frasher is seeking more than $1 million for physical pain, mental anguish, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, permanent impairment and punitive damages.

New Orleans attorney John Young is representing Frasher.

U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01805

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