Seaman claims staff reduction led to injuries

By Michelle Massey | May 25, 2010

A seaman on the M/V Basin Endeavor alleges that the reduction in the number of crew members ultimately led to him sustaining severe injuries and needing surgery.

Donald E. Stoppa filed suit against Basin Marine, Inc. and M/V Basin Endeavor on May 20 in federal court in New Orleans.

Stoppa states that during his employment as a seaman and crew member of the M/V Basin Endeavor, he was injured when the defendant negligently reduced the crew.

According to Stoppa's complaint, the crew was reduced from two deckhands one deckhand. On the day of Stoppa's injury Sept. 21, 2009, the captain ordered Stoppa to make up tow.

During the process of attaching the steel cables to the barge, the vessel suddenly moved away from the barge causing the cables to pull taught, violently jerking Stoppa's right arm.

Stoppa claims the defendant failed to provide an adequate crew, failed to maintain the vessel's apparatuses in such a manner as to not injure him, failed to adequately oversee his work, failed to prevent him from being placed in harm's way and failed to maintain a safe working environment.

He is seeking more than $1 million in damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, lost past earnings, diminishment, loss of future earning capacity, physical impairment, disfigurement and medical expenses. He is also seeking damages for maintenance, cure, attorneys fees, punitive damages and interest.

New Orleans attorneys Jack W. Harang, James A. Stegall and Kelly W. Kelly of the Law Offices of Newton B. Schwartz, Sr. are representing Stoppa.

U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01522

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