Airboat operator sued over failed attempt to navigate sand flat

Michelle Keahey Jul. 29, 2011, 7:45am

A Lafitte resident has filed a lawsuit against the operators of an air boat after he broke his arm during a failed attempt to take the air boat over a sand flat.

Under General Maritime Law, Ivar Silnieks filed suit against Deep South Airboats and Markel Insurance Co. on July 18 in federal court in New Orleans.

The alleged incident occurred on Oct. 6, 2010, while Silnieks was employed as an operator for Wilco Marsh Buggies and Dragline Inc.

Silnieks states he was being transported across the Gulf of Mexico by a crew boat to a quarter boat and then via an air boat to his job site. According to the allegations, the operator of the air boat attempted to navigate the vessel over a sand flat instead of going around it and Silnieks was thrown forward, suffering a fractured arm.

Defendant Deep South Airboats is accused of negligent operation of the air boat.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for mental and physical pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, wages losses, medical expenses, interest and court costs.

Silnieks is represented by Pete Lewis of Lewis & Caplan in New Orleans.

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-01820

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