Seaman sues after cable propels him

Michelle Massey Aug. 13, 2010, 5:26am

A seaman has filed a lawsuit against his employer after he was allegedly injured due to being propelled while holding a cable.

Joshua Brunet filed suit against Oceaneering International, Inc. Aug. 3 in federal court in New Orleans.

Brunet states he was working on Dec. 28, 2008, to recover a crane block. He says he was instructed to secure a tag line attached to the crane cable to stabilize the crane block as it was lifted.

According to the lawsuit, the crane block had a large hook and it was lifting a strap at the end of which was an ROV hook. The ROV hook allegedly became caught in the exterior of the vessel, but the crane continued to lift, shock-loading the cable.

Brunet states that the ROV hook came loose and the crane block and ROV hook jerked the tag line that he was holding. He claims he was propelled, injuring his cervical and lumbar spine.

Brunet was allegedly diagnosed as having bilateral shoulder dislocations that required multiple surgeries.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to provide a safe place to work, failing to coordinate work activities, failing to conduct a job safety analysis, failing to organize and implement a proper and safe operational chain of command, failing to properly trained personnel, failing to provide proper signals to the crane operator and failing to determine the hook was clear and not caught on the exterior of the vessel before signaling the crane operator.

Brunet states the vessel was unseaworthy because it was without proper equipment, a competent crew and a hook that could withstand the forces.

The plaintiff is seeking more than $750,000 in damages for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and anguish, lost wages, future lost wages, impairment of earning capacity, lost and found fringe benefits, disability, impairment of enjoyment of living damages, maintenance, cure, interest, court costs and attorney fees.

Brunet is represented by Houma attorneys Joseph G. Kopfler and Patrick Redmon of Kopfler & Hermann.

U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv02373

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