Owner of shrimp boat sues after vessel collision

Michelle Massey Nov. 2, 2010, 1:36am

A Houma resident has filed a federal lawsuit against the owners of a vessel that collided into his shrimp boat for failing to properly signal ahead to vessels in the channel.

Olden Parfait Jr. filed suit against Great White Towing on Oct. 21 in federal court in New Orleans.

The accident occurred on Oct. 25, 2009 as the Parfait was operating his shrimp boat and pushing skimmers north in Grand Caillou Bay in Terrebonne Parish. According to the lawsuit, the M/V Great White 3 was pushing a barge southbound through the channel and did not issue any radio warnings or reduce its speed.

Parfait states the vessel plowed through the channel and collided with his shrimp boat. He claims he suffered serious and debilitating injuries.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to exercise due care, failing to man the M/V Great White with an adequate and competent master and crew, failing to properly signal ahead to vessels in the channel, proceeding at an excessive rate of speed under the circumstances, failing to maintain a proper lookout, monitor vessel traffic and maneuver the vessel to avoid a collision.

The plaintiff is seeking more than $975,000 in damages for medical expenses, property damages, lost wages and lost earning capacity, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, interest and court costs.

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

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

Case No. 2:10-cv-04019

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