Carol Ostrow Aug. 24, 2015, 1:11pm


A seaman is suing two Louisiana businesses, alleging negligence in a salvage operation that he says caused him permanent injuries.

Benjamin J. Blackman filed a lawsuit Aug. 20 in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana against Cross Diving Services of Morgan City, and Settoon Construction Inc. of Belle River, alleging maritime negligence and unseaworthiness in a July pipeline project at the bottom of the sea floor.

According to the complaint, on July 29, Blackman was employed by Cross Diving Services as a commercial diver and crew member, and Cross Diving had contracted with Settoon to provide labor in a salvage procedure off the coast of Louisiana.

The suit states Blackman sustained severe orthopedic injuries when directed to assist in stacking and storing salvaged pipe strands aboard a vessel operated by Settoon.

According to the suit, the defendants were negligent in failing to properly equip, maintain and operate the vessel, implement an overall plan to complete the job safely, provide a non-hazardous workplace with competent personnel, train and instruct crew members, and provide appropriate medical care and treatment to Blackman.

The plaintiff alleges severe pain and suffering, physical and psychological trauma, loss of pleasure in life, lost wages and earning capacity, permanent scarring and impairment.

Blackman seeks judgment in his favor for maintenance and cure, attorney fees, expenses and court costs. He is represented by attorneys Bobby Delise and Alton J. Hall Jr. of Delise & Hall in New Orleans and Covington, respectively.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:15-cv-03681-MLCF-DEK.

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