Connecticut seaman sues employer claiming unseaworthy vessel caused back injuries

Michelle Keahey Dec. 7, 2012, 4:21am


NEW ORLEANS - A Connecticut seaman is suing his employer claiming he suffered two separate accidents while working aboard their allegedly unseaworthy vessel.

Michael R. Kozlow filed suit against Madcon on Nov. 27 in federal court in New Orleans.

The first alleged incident occurred in October as Kozlow was carrying groceries onto the vessel and was required to walk on the gangway leading to the M/V Gulf Freedom. According to the lawsuit, the gangway was constructed and set up in such a manner that it had a lot of give and was very springy. As a result, the gangway gave in and Kozlow twisted his body and injured his back, the suit states.

The second alleged incident occurred on July 18 as Kozlow was ascending the stairwell leading up to the bridge of the M/V Gulf Freedom when the handrail came off its wall attachment and caused Kozlow to fall. He injured his right knee and aggravated the back injury, he claims.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to provide Kozlow with a safe work place, failing to provide him with a proper and safe gangway to allow Kozlow and others to safely access the vessel, and for failing to provide a proper handrail on the vessel.

The defendant is also accused of unseaworthiness and for failing to maintain the M/V Gulf Freedom.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, physical disfigurement, lost earnings, found damages, actual damages, attorneys' fees, interest, and court costs.

Kozlow is represented by Steve Gordon of Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP in Houston. A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 2:12-cv-02829

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