Lawsuit claims captain intentionally rammed other vessel

Michelle Massey Aug. 31, 2010, 5:58am


A captain of the M/V BJ 102 has filed a lawsuit after his vessel was intentionally rammed by another vessel while his was spudded down along the banks of Louisiana in Lafourche Parish.

Robert J. Cheramie filed suit against Lafayette Workboat Rentals on Aug. 23 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to the lawsuit, Cheramie was employed by B.J. Services as a captain and assigned to the M/V BJ 102.

The alleged incident occurred on Jan. 22 as the M/V BJ 102 was unexpectedly rammed by the M/V Captain Brennan. Cheramie states that at the time of the collision, he heard a whistle blowing and he proceeded to walk up the stairs to the wheelhouse. As he was walking up the stairs, Cheramie says the vessel was rammed, he lost his balance and fell. He says he injured his arm, knee, foot and neck.

Cheramie claims the M/V Captain Brennan's captain later admitted to intentionally ramming his vessel in order to get the attention of Cheramie's crew.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to properly train the captain and equip the vesel, failing to operate the vessel in a safe manner and in compliance with applicable state and federal regulations.

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

Cheramie is represented by Charles C. Bourque Jr. and Adam J. Triplett of St. Martin & Bourque in Houma.

U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv02803

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