Seaman sues employer after contracting cellulitis

Michelle Keahey Nov. 7, 2012, 3:27am


NEW ORLEANS - A seaman who contracted cellulitis while aboard a vessel has filed a lawsuit against his employer claiming the vessel was unsafe due to the presence of staph in the bilge of the vessel.

James Walker filed suit against Edison Chouest Offshore Inc. and/or Offshore Service Vessels on Sept. 25 in federal court in New Orleans.
According to the lawsuit, while in the scope of his employment as a crewmember in the bilge of the M/V Amber, Walker contracted cellulitis.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to maintain the vessel in a reasonably safe condition, failing to safeguard the vessel to protect the complainant against the possibility of injury/infection, failing to warn complainant of defects, hazards and unsanitary conditions, failing to discover or correct dangerous conditions existing on the vessel including but not limited to the presence of staph in the bilge of the vessel, failing to operate the vessel in a safe manner, and failing to fix unsafe and unseaworthy conditions.

The defendants are further accused of negligence for failing to fix unsafe and unseaworthy conditions on the M/V Amber, failing to train operators and other crew members in proper maintenance and cleanup procedures, failing to properly maintain and clean the corridors, walkways and bilge of the M/V Amber, reckless/negligent maintenance producing unseaworthy conditions, failing to prevent unsafe/unsanitary conditions in the interior and bilge areas of the M/V Amber and vessel negligence.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical pain, suffering, discomfort, mental anguish, aggravation, annoyance, disability, medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, punitive damages, interest, and court costs.

Walker is represented by Michael Hingle and Donald G. D'Aunoy, Jr. of Michael Hingle & Associates in Slidell.

U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-02357

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