Employer sued for not disclosing deckhand's pre-employment physical exam results

Michelle Keahey May 7, 2012, 5:13am


NEW ORLEANS - A deckhand has filed a lawsuit against his employer for not disclosing his pre-employment physical examination results that showed lumbar spine problems.

Michael Anthony Buggs, II filed suit against PBC Management Inc. on April 30 in federal court in New Orleans.

In October 2008, Buggs was hired by PBC Management to work as a deckhand/tankerman. During the hiring process, Buggs was required to complete a physical examination, including a pre-employment MRI.

The examination disclosed that Buggs had a significant physical anomaly in his lumbar spine, such that Buggs should have been precluded from engaging in anything beyond medium physical job duties.
Buggs states that he was not told of the anomaly or warned of the potential consequences of engaging in heavy physical activities.

Instead, he was hired and put to work as a deckhand/tankerman, jobs rated from heavy to extremely heavy.

After working for a full day of extremely heavy physical activities, his pre-existing asymptomatic condition became acutely and severely symptomatic, the lawsuit states.

Buggs claims that his back is now permanently and severely symptomatic and prevents him from engaging in all employment other than light to sedentary work.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to disclose the compromised condition of Buggs' back, failing to provide him with a safe work environment, and for failing to provide adequate assistance and equipment to accommodate his physical limitations.

The plaintiff is asking the court for $1.9 million in damages for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, disability, loss of or impairment of the ability to enjoy life's pleasures, court costs, and interest.

Buggs is represented by Scott E. Silbert of Silbert & Garon in New Orleans.

U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01100

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