Seaman sues employer over allegedly defective equipment

Michelle Keahey Nov. 11, 2011, 5:36am


After falling 20 feet from safety equipment, a seaman has filed a lawsuit against his employer for providing an allegedly defective lift harness.

William Gerald Smith, Rosiland Schanell Bailes Smith and Shannah Smith filed suit against Pride International Inc., International Technical Services, Ensco PLC, Ensco Offshore Co., Ensco Inc. and Universal Ensco Inc. on Nov. 2 in federal court in New Orleans.

Smith claims that on Nov. 13, 2008, one of the carabineers that was securing him to his lift harness failed, causing him to fall violently to the vessel's deck.

Smith is seeking damages for medical expenses, lost earnings, loss of found, loss of earning capacity, physical injury, disability and scarring, mental anguish and distress, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of society, punitive damages, interest and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by John W. deGravelles of deGravelles, Palmintier, Holthaus & Fruge, L.L.P. in Baton Rouge.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-02729

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