Michelle Keahey Oct. 12, 2013, 10:11am

NEW ORLEANS - A seaman has filed a lawsuit against his employer claiming he suffered injuries to his back when he fell down a flight of stairs while carrying a heavy piece of equipment.

William Judson Ashley, III filed suit against Transocean Offshore USA Inc. on Sept. 19 in federal court in New Orleans.

William states he was injured on April 16, 2013 while working as a seaman and crewmember of the Discoverer Deep Seas. According to the lawsuit, Williams was instructed to move a heavy and unwieldy manipulator valve from the HPV Room down flights of stairs to the main deck. During the process, Ashley fell down a flight of stairs with the valve landing on top of him. He injured his back, causing permanent damage and disability.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to properly equip, man, provision, maintain and operate the vessel, failing to properly and reasonably select and implement an overall plan to complete the tasks at hand in a safe and non-hazardous manner, and failing to provide Ashley with a safe and non-hazardous workplace.

The defendant is further accused of negligence for failing to provide safe and sufficient tools and manpower, failing to properly instruct and outfit Ashley, failing to provide proper safety equipment, failing to provide training and instruction to Ashley’s fellow crew members, and failing to provide proper maintenance, warnings and instructions regarding deck and stair conditions on the vessel.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for loss of earning capacity, physical pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, maintenance and cure, attorney’s fees, and court costs.  A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 2:13-cv-05876

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