Employee sues for $1.4 million after slipping in mud and injuring knee

Michelle Keahey Aug. 30, 2011, 4:41am

A Texas resident has filed a lawsuit for $1.4 million against his employer after he slipped in mud and injured his knee and leg.

James Langford filed suit against Atlantic Sounding Co. Inc. and Weeks Marine Inc. on Aug. 16 in federal court in New Orleans.

The incident occurred on Feb. 17, 2010 as Langford was working aboard the crane barge 547 and other vessels within the Weeks Marine Bourg, Louisiana yard. Langford states he was attempting to depart the crane barge using the gangway, when he slipped in muddy debris and injured his right leg and knee.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to locate the crane barge at a yard location which would not result in mud accumulation on the gangway, failing to provide Langford with a safe means of egress from the crane barge, failing to place sufficient gravel on the land adjacent to the gangway access location, failing to provide a portable power washer or other means to prevent the accumulation of mud on the gangway and for failing to provide radio communications to allow persons aboard the crane barge to call for assistance in cleaning the gangway before use.

The defendants are also accused of negligence for failing to provide Langford with sufficient and competent and adequate crew, failing to provide a safe place to work, failing to provide a seaworthy vessel and for failing to provide a satisfactory method of getting on and off the crane barge.

The plaintiff is seeking more than $1.4 million in damages for physical and mental pain and suffering, loss of income and loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, maintenance and cure, plus interest, attorney's fees, punitive damages, and court costs.

Langford is represented by New Orleans attorney Michael J. Mestayer.

Case No. 2:11-cv-02028

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