Seaman sues for $1.5 million after suffering from ear infection

By Michelle Massey | Sep 28, 2010

A seaman is seeking $1.5 million from his employer after he developed an ear infection due to contaminated water.

Michael E. Tillman filed suit against Five B's Inc. and ABC Insurance Co. on Sept. 15 in federal court in New Orleans.

Tillman claims that in December 2008 water aboard the M/V Beverly G. Barrios was contaminated causing him to develop an ear infectionm which eventually led to a lung infection.

He claims his injuries led to acute respiratory failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and staph infections.

Tillman claims the vessel's water system was contaminated by sea water leaking from the lazarette via a cracked bulkhead. He also argues the water filters were not regularly replaced and routine maintenance was not performed on the water system.

The defendant is accused of failing to provide a competent crew, safe place to work and a vessel equipped with proper engines, gear and other equipment.

Five B's is accused of negligence for inadequate construction and maintenance of the lazarette and water systems, not keeping the water system clean and properly maintained and for the defective and unreasonably dangerous water system.

The plaintiff is seeking more than $1.5 million in damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, psychological injuries, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disability, medical expenses, interest, punitive damages, maintenance and cure.

Tillman is represented by Joseph A. LoCoco and Virginia A. LoCoco of LoCoco and LoCoco in D'Iberville, Miss. and Covington attorneys Ernest N. Souhlas and Carter B. Wright. Jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv03064

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