Carol Ostrow Aug. 27, 2015, 12:21pm


An oil industry worker is suing BP, alleging negligence and breach of duty in the Deepwater Horizon spill that he says led to the plaintiff’s permanent injuries.

Ronald Ducote filed a lawsuit July 27 in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana against BP Exploration & Production Inc. and BP America Production Company doing business in Louisiana, alleging three counts of negligence under general maritime law in the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout and resulting oil spill.

According to the lawsuit, Ducote was hired by BP to work as an oil spill cleanup worker as part of the “Vessels of Opportunity Program” (VoO). The plaintiff’s direct employer was U.S. Maritime Services Inc. of New Orleans.

The suit states Ducote was exposed to toxic, volatile and carcinogenic compounds in his capacity as vessel captain under BP’s supervision operating within wetlands and coastal waters of the St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes in Louisiana from June-December 2010.

According to the suit, Ducote came into dermal and airborne contact with crude oil, which contains benzene and other organic compounds as well as other chemical dispersants containing hazardous substances.

Ducote alleges he developed severe physical and psychological complications following exposure including respiratory and dermatological disorders, and has incurred medical expenses.

The plaintiff charges BP with willful failure to provide adequate training and protection, ignoring worker safety and government warnings, and perpetuating a culture of disregard in favor of financial profit.

Ducote seeks compensatory and punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees, expenses and costs. He is represented by attorneys Joseph Piacun, Thomas A. Gennusa II and Reid Uzee of Gennusa, Piacun & Ruli in Metairie.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:15-cv-02987-CJB-JCW.

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