Industrial worker sues after work procedure protests were ignored

Michelle Keahey Jan. 20, 2012, 3:25am

NEW ORLEANS - An industrial worker has filed a lawsuit against his employer that claims he was injured when his employer ignored his protests of the procedure used to remove a frozen test rod out of a steel shaft of a petro-chemical barge.

Tyrone Wilson filed suit against Kirby Corp. a/k/a Kirby Inland Marine Transportation Co. and T.T. Coatings Inc. on Oct. 26 in Jefferson Parish District Court. The defendants removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Jan. 11.

The alleged incident occurred on Oct. 10, 2010 while Wilson was working for TT Coating on a petro-chemical barge fleet.

Wilson states he injured his hands and wrists while attempting to free test rods out of a steel shaft assembly. According to the lawsuit, Wilson was ordered to pull with pliers on the test rod, in the open end of the shaft, while a TT Coating Inc. worker heated the test rods and the steel tube on the other end. Wilson claims he protested the procedure but continued under the threat of being fired.

During the heating process, the test rod exploded out of the open end of the steel shaft and injured Wilson.

Defendant Kirby Corp. is accused of negligence for failing to maintain equipment that presented a dangerous and hazardous condition and an unreasonable risk of harm, writing work orders and demanding TT Coating to engage in an activity that was inherently dangerous, refusing to replace the entire assembly of test rod and steel shaft in order to save money, and for ordering TT Coating workers to utilize a dangerous and hazardous method to accomplish the removal of the test rod.

Defendant TT Coating is accused of negligence for ordering employees to engage in a dangerous and hazardous employment activity, knowing that harm to Wilson was "substantially certain to follow an intentional Tort under Louisiana Law."

Wilson is seeking damages for loss of wages, medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and anguish, permanent physical disability, loss of enjoyment of life, interest and court costs.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00080

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