Injured seaman sues after failing to safely jump from tug boat to barge

Michelle Keahey Apr. 17, 2012, 3:37am


NEW ORLEANS - After a failed attempt to jump from a tug boat onto a barge, a seaman is suing his employer for failing to provide him fall protection equipment.

James Turner filed suit against Coastal Marine Contractors and Fritz Brugge on March 29 in federal court in New Orleans.

Turner states he injured his abdomen, back, and neck when he fell during an attempt to jump from a barge into a tug boat.

According to Turner's complaint, the captain of the M/V Jefferson ordered Turner to jump onto the barge from the tug boat. As Turner was attempting to make the transfer back to the tug boat, the tug boat crashed into the barge. He fell and hit a large bit on the deck of the tug boat.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to properly supervise and train their crew, failing to provide adequate safety equipment, including adequate fall protection equipment, operating the vessel with an inadequate crew, failing to maintain the vessel, and for violating applicable Coast Guard, OSHA and MMS rules.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of actual damages for physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, exemplary damages, interest, court costs, attorney's fees, and maintenance and cure benefits.

Turner is represented by Metairie attorney Scott LaBarre. A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 2:12-cv-00834

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