Seaman sues vessel owner after injuring his back while lifting vessel parts

Michelle Keahey Jul. 13, 2012, 2:25am


NEW ORLEANS - After injuring his back while attempting to lift heavy vessel parts, a seaman has filed a lawsuit against the vessel's owner.

Jonathan D. Carter filed suit against Hornbeck Offshore Transportation and Hornbeck Offshore Operators on June 18 in federal court in New Orleans.

At the time of the alleged incident on July 14, 2009, Carter was working as a tankerman and a member of the crew of the tanker barge "Energy 13501."

Hornbeck management took over making repairs to the vessel and ordered that the vessel's ballast pump be removed and repaired.

During the attempt to lift the ballast pump out of the vessel, Carter injured his back. The injury required surgery, the suit states.

The defendants are accused of negligence for insisting that the work be done without adequate equipment and manpower, for failing to have an adequate crew and equipment, for failing to keep its vessel in a safe and seaworthy condition and in a state of proper maintenance and repair, and for the unseaworthiness of the vessel.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of medical expenses, loss of earnings and impairment to earning capacity, physical injury and disability, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and distress, loss of enjoyment of life, punitive damages, maintenance and cure, punitive damages, attorney's fees, court costs, and interest.

Carter is represented by J. Neale deGravelles of deGravelles, Palmintier, Holthaus & Fruge L.L.P in Baton Rouge and West Monroe attorney Robert A. Lee.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01545

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