Texas seaman sues after slipping down stairs

Michelle Massey Oct. 20, 2010, 2:55am


A Texas resident is suing Specialty Offshore Inc. and others after he slipped down a set of stairs and was injured.

Devin Blake filed suit on Oct. 13 in federal court in New Orleans. The suit also names Specialty Rentals Inc. and Specialty Rentals Inc. of Delaware as defendants.

The alleged incident occurred on Aug. 21 as Blake was working as a seaman on the vessel the Specialty Diver I. Blake states he slipped down a set of stairs and suffered permanent personal injuries.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to repair the worn and slippery stairs, failing to apply skid proof tape or paint to the stairs, failing to install handrails which could be used safely, failing to increase the depth of the tread, failing to replace the stairs with stairs that have less than a 50 degree angle, failing to replace the stairs with a vertical ladder, failing to provide stairs with consistent tread depths and riser heights, failing to install leading edge indicators on the stairs and failing to properly train and supervise its employees.

Blake argues the vessel was unseaworthy due to the steps being slippery and worn and having a lack of skid-proof surface rendering the stairs unfit.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, physical disfigurement, lost earnings, punitive damages, maintenance and cure, interest and court costs.

Blake is represented by Steven J. Gordon of Gordon, Elias & Seely in Houston.

U.S. District Judge A. J. McNamara is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10-cv-03453

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