Mississippi seaman sues after foot becomes caught in auger

Michelle Keahey Feb. 21, 2012, 2:14am

NEW ORLEANS - A Mississippi seaman has filed a lawsuit against his employer after he got his leg and foot caught in an auger.

Lucky K. Underwood II filed suit against Rowan Companies Inc. on Feb. 9 in federal court in New Orleans.

The alleged incident occurred on Aug. 26, 2011 while Underwood was working aboard the Rowan Louisiana. Underwood states that he was working to change a shaker screen, when his foot, ankle and leg became caught in the auger.

According to the lawsuit, the auger was supposed to be covered by protective grating. Underwood's foot became caught in an area where approximately 12 inches of grating had been removed in order for work to be performed on a gear box and maintenance of the auger.

The defendant is accused of negligence for removing the area of protective grating, leaving the auger exposed without protective grating or guards, failing to warn of the lack of protective grating, failing to implement safety policies regarding the auger, failing to follow applicable safety and operating procedures, and for the failure to follow governmental and industry rules, regulations and standards.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical and mental injury, pain and suffering, mental anguish, distress, fright, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, loss of fringe benefits, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, punitive damages, interest and court costs.

Underwood is represented by Joseph E. Cain of Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar in New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00394

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