Boater sues after hitting his head on beam at marina

Michelle Keahey Jun. 11, 2012, 2:38am


NEW ORLEANS - After hitting his head on a beam at a Tchefuncta River marina, a Texas boater has filed a lawsuit claiming that marina employees should have warned him of the beam and its dangers.

Stephen C. Catha filed suit against Marina Del Ray and XYZ Insurance Co. on May 18 in federal court in New Orleans.

The alleged incident occurred on May 22, 2011 as Catha was attempting to refuel his motor boat at Marina del Ray in Madisonville and he hit his head on an "I" beam.

According to the complaint, as Catha backed his motor boat to the fuel dock, he was assisted by two marina employees, whose job was to help customers approaching the fuel dock tie off their boats in order to refuel. As he attempted to step off his motor boat and onto the fuel dock, he struck the top of his head on an exposed metal I-beam that was suspended above the dock.

The defendants are accused of gross and wanton negligence for failing to maintain a safe environment for customers and individuals stepping onto the fuel dock from boats, for careless disregard for the safety of its customers and patrons, negligently failing to properly maintain the fuel dock and for failing to establish or enforce policies and procedures, and for creating or having constructive knowledge of the condition.

The defendants are also accused of negligence for failing to exercise due care, negligently allowing an unreasonably dangerous condition to exist, failing to post signs that warn customers, patrons and individuals of the existence of the exposed steel I-beam in order to avoid incidents and for failing to require Marina del Ray employees working on the dock to warn individuals of the existence of the exposed steel I-beam.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of damages for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses, loss of earnings or earning capacity, attorney's fees, interest, and court costs.

Catha is represented by New Orleans attorneys D. Douglas Howard Jr. and Jonathan C. Pedersen.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01304

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