Mississippi mud causes vessels to become moored, engineer sues

Michelle Massey Dec. 1, 2010, 5:00am


An engineer has filed a lawsuit over injuries he suffered when several vessels became stuck in mud.

David Smith filed suit against Dupre Marine Transportation Inc., The M/V Captain Vince, Bud's Boat Rental, The M/V Robin T, Martin Midstream Partners, Global Oilfield Contractors and The M/V Lady Eldine on Nov. 10 in federal court in New Orleans.

The accident occurred on Sept. 15 as Smith was working for Global Oilfield Contractors aboard the M/V Lady Eldine. Smith was performing his normal duties as an engineer when the vessel was violently struck, causing him to be thrown backwards. He states he hit his lower back on the deck in the engine room.

According to the lawsuit, it was a series of vessels stuck in the mud in Pascagoula, Miss. that resulted in the incident. The M/V Captain Vince was attempting to reposition its flotilla when it struck another barge, which in turn struck the M/V Lady Eldine.

Defendants Dupre Marine Transportation, Bud's Boat Rental and Global Oilfield Contracts are accused of negligence for failing to provide competent crew, failing to properly train and supervise its employees, failing to maintain control, failing to properly moor the vessel, failing to have proper equipment and failing to warn about the likelihood of an impact or allusion.

Defendant Martin Midstream Partners is accused of negligence for failing to properly supervise and locate vessels moored adjacent to its facility.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, mental pain, suffering and anguish, medical expenses, lost wages, lost found, loss of future earning capacity, loss of future found, loss of fringe benefits, disfigurement and disability, loss of enjoyment of life, court costs, attorney's fees and interest.

Smith is represented by Gretna attorney Ronna M. Steele.

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

Case No. 2:10-cv-04297

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