Seaman sues for $1 million after boat sways violently

Michelle Massey Oct. 18, 2010, 9:35am

A seaman is suing his employer for more than $1 million after the vessel he was aboard swayed violently and caused him to suffer shoulder injuries.

Charles Touchet filed suit against Phil Gilbeau Offshore Inc. on Oct. 8 in federal court in New Orleans.

The incident occurred on March 20, 2010 while the vessel was tied off in rough seas to a fender buoy with a rope. According to the complaint, the rope spiller came undone causing the vessel to swing around violently. Touchet states he was below the deck when the shift occurred and was thrown around, causing injuries to his neck, back and left shoulder.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to have sufficient crew to assist him in his required work, for failing to provide a safe place to work and for negligence in providing Touchet with a line or rope that was unfit for its intended use.

Touchet also argues the vessel was unseaworthy due to a lack of competent crew and failing to have appurtenances and tack that were fit for their intended purpose.

He is represented by Jack W. Harang in New Orleans and Kelly W. Kelly of Law Offices of Newton B. Schwartz, Sr. in Houston. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10-cv-03397

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