Michelle Keahey Sep. 17, 2013, 2:06pm

NEW ORLEANS - A San Antonio roughneck has filed a lawsuit against his employer claiming that he suffered back injuries when he was forced to stand on a ladder in order to release a valve.

Joshua Flores filed suit against Hercules Offshore Services on Sept. 6 in federal court in New Orleans.

The alleged incident occurred on July 23 while Flores was working on board the Hercules 202, a jack-up rig, as a roughneck. According to the lawsuit, Flores was told to assist in replacing a valve in the pump room by his boss. Flores was instructed to hold the valve while it was released from the pipe. To hold the pipe, Flores was placed on a step ladder, which required him to grasp the valve by leaning over the top of the ladder, bent over at the waist. Flores states that when the old valve was released from the pipe, all of the weight of the valve was put on his back and caused him to suffer injuries. He suffered injuries to his back, which requires surgery, the suit says.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to maintain an adequate crew, inadequate training of crew, failure to provide Flores with a safe place to work, failing to warn Flores of the dangerous and hazardous conditions, failure to provide Flores with the proper equipment, such as a come-along or a sling, failure to recognize the need for additional personnel to assist Flores in completing his assigned tasks, and for the failure to maintain equipment in a safe and useable condition.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for lost wages, loss of capacity to work and earn money, permanent impairment, maintenance and cure, attorney’s fees, punitive damages, emotional distress, court costs, and interest.

Flores is represented by New Orleans attorney John L. Young.

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

Case No. 2:13-cv-05748

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