Seaman claims back injury resulted from use of improper tools

Michelle Keahey Nov. 10, 2012, 10:20am

NEW ORLEANS - A seaman has filed a lawsuit claiming that his supervisor would not allow him to use the proper tool on a job, which caused him to suffer a severe injury to his back.

Claiming he had to make do with a breaker bar instead of an impact wrench, Robert D. Pittman filed suit against Bo-Mac Contractors Ltd. on Oct. 25 in federal court in New Orleans.

On Nov. 29, 2011, Pittman claims he injured his back while using a breaker bar to try to remove a nut on the flange of a water pipe under the Sunoco Logistics Nederland Terminal dock located on the Sabine-Neches waterway in Nederland. According to the lawsuit, Pittman had requested an impact wrench, but his supervisor advised him that there was not an impact wrench aboard the barge at the time.  The supervisor also allegedly refused to have an impact wrench brought to the barge at the dock.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to provide a safe place to work, failing to have an impact wrench and having an incompetent supervisor.

Pittman allegedly suffered a severe and disabling injury to his back.
The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity and benefits, pain and suffering, physical and mental, permanent disabilities, medical expenses, loss of life’s pleasures and enjoyment, maintenance, cure, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, court costs, and interest.

Pittman is represented by Terrence J. Lestelle, Andrea S. Lestelle, and Richard M. Morgain of Lestelle & Lestelle in Metairie. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-02590

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