Vessel worker seeks $1.2 million over injuries in transfer basket

Michelle Massey Sep. 8, 2010, 6:23am

A Mississippi seaman has filed a lawsuit against the employer of a crane operator after the operator allegedly jerked a personnel transfer basket off a vessel's deck.

Seeking more than $1.2 million, Willie Sims filed suit against Energy Cranes on Sept. 2 in federal court in New Orleans.

The incident occurred on Oct. 28, 2009 as Sims was being transferred by personnel basket from a vessel back to the platform. Sims states the crane operator aboard the platform prematurely or with unreasonable force and speed, jerked the basket off the deck of the vessel. Sims claims he sustained injuries to his lumbar spine during the incident.

At the time of the incident, Sims was employed as a floor hand by Tetra Applied Technologies and assigned to the platform rig Tetra Rig 7 in Green Canyon 6 in the Gulf of Mexico off of the coast of Louisiana.

Energy Cranes is accused of negligence for failing to conduct the lift and transfer in a reasonable safe manner, lifting the personnel basket prematurely or in an unreasonable, forceful and rapid manner.

Sims is seeking more than $1.2 million in damages plus interest and court costs.

He is represented by George W. Bryne, Jr., Evette E. Ungar and Cheryl L. Wild of Ungar & Byrne in New Orleans.

U.S. District Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv02913

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