Crane malfunction causes personnel basket to jerk violently, suit says

Michelle Keahey Nov. 26, 2011, 5:35am

A Mississippi man has filed a Jones Act lawsuit that claims he was injured due to a malfunction of a crane that allowed a personnel basket transfer to jerk violently.

Willie Otis filed suit against Nabors Offshore Corp. and Nabors Industries Ltd. on Nov. 10 in federal court in New Orleans.

Otis claims he was performing his duties on Sept. 16, 2011, and was injured when the personnel basket in which he was a passenger fell and jerked violently due to improper operation or a malfunction of the crane. Otis states he suffered serious and disabling injuries to his knees and low back.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to provide Otis with a safe place to work, failing to properly operate and maintain the crane, failing to keep the crane in a reasonably safe operating condition, failing to conduct the personnel basket transfer in a reasonably safe manner, and failing to make necessary and timely repairs to the crane.

The plaintiff is asking for $1.5 million in damages for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, maintenance and cure benefits, attorney's fees, costs, interest, and compensatory damages.

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

Case No. 2:11-cv-02796

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