Deckhand sues after crushing hand

Michelle Keahey Dec. 19, 2011, 4:00am

A deckhand is filing a lawsuit against his employer after he crushed his hand between a dock and his vessel.

Derek B. Durham filed suit against Moran Towing Corp. on Dec. 5 in federal court in New Orleans.

The incident occurred on April 3, 2011 as Durham was working for Moran Towing as a deckhand aboard the harbor tug M/V Commander. While working on the Mississippi River, his left hand was crushed between the vessel and a dock.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to properly operate the vessel under its control, failing to select and implement an overall plan to complete the tasks at hand in a safe and non-hazardous manner, failing to provide Durham with a safe and non-hazardous workplace and failing to provide proper and sufficient tools and manpower.

Moran Towing is also accused of negligence for failing to instruct and outfit Durham, failing to provide training and instruction to Durham's fellow crew members and failing to provide proper warnings and instructions regarding deck conditions on the vessel.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for loss of earning capacity, physical pain and mental anguish, medical expenses, interest and court costs.

Durham is represented by William B. Hidalgo of Hidalgo & Associates in Covington. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-02972

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