Seaman sues employer for $2 million after becoming trapped by his tools

Michelle Keahey Aug. 29, 2011, 3:45am

A Mississippi seaman has filed a lawsuit against his employer after he suffered injuries when he became trapped by his own tools.

Trent A. McDowell filed a Jones Act lawsuit against Atlantic Sounding Co. Inc. and Weeks Marine Inc. on Aug. 4 in federal court in New Orleans.

McDowell states he was injured on May 22, as he was working aboard the Dredge G. D. Morgan. He was working on the vessel's pumping system using a high powered impact wrench as directed by his supervisors. He was using the wrench above his head, attempting to break loose a bolt, when the wrench "moved unexpectedly, trapping and injuring" him, the lawsuit states.

The defendants are accused of negligence for allegedly failing to provide a safe place to work, failing to properly supervise the tasks being performed, failing to provide the proper and appropriate equipment to perform the tasks, failing to adequately train McDowell, failing to warn, failing to operate and maintain the dredge and its equipment in a safe and reasonable state of repair and failing to provide McDowell with a reasonable safe means and methods to perform the task.

The plaintiff is asking for more than $2 million in damages for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional pain and suffering, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of economic horizons, maintenance and cure, attorney's fees, court costs and interest.

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

U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-01879

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