Worker sues after injuring back during attempt to save co-worker from falling into river

Michelle Keahey Jan. 20, 2012, 3:29am

NEW ORLEANS - A worker has filed a $5.25 million lawsuit that claims he injured his back when he successfully saved a co-worker from falling into the river.

Roger Calhoun and Jane Calhoun filed the lawsuit against Claus-Peter Offen Tankschiffreederei (GMBH & Co.) KG, CPO Sweden Offen Reederei and Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association (Bermuda) Limited on Jan. 5 in federal court in New Orleans.

The alleged incident occurred on Aug. 22, 2011 while Calhoun was employed by Cooper T. Smith Mooring Co. and was assisting with the mooring of the CPO Sweden.

Calhoun states he was injured when the vessel's crew prematurely tightened one of its mooring lines prior to signaling by the mooring crew. The tightening caused one co-worker to start to fall. Calhoun reached and successfully saved the co-worker from falling into the river but in the process, Calhoun injured his back, he claims.

The defendants are accused of negligence for prematurely and wrongfully engaging the mooring gear.

Calhoun and his wife are asking the court for an award of $5.25 million in damages for medical expenses, mental and physical pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, loss of society, consortium and support, interest, and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Thomas M. Discon and Scott G. Discon of Discon Law Firm in Mandeville.

U.S. District Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00027

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