A cook aboard a vessel that was close in vicinity to a chemical loading facility is suing for more than $2.25 million in damages after he was allegedly exposed to phosphate.

David Stafford and Maxine Stafford filed suit against Mississippi Phosphates Corp. on March 2 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to court documents, David Stafford was working as a cook aboard the M/V Dredge 32 located in the waters of Bayou Casot, around Pascagoula, Miss. and the defendant's loading facility.

Stafford states he was exposed to the chemical "dye-ammonium phosphate" from November 2009 until April 2010. The exposure caused necrotizing fasciitis, rashes, skin lesions and flesh-eating bacteria, which has required Stafford to undergo multiple surgeries, debridement and skin grafts.

The defendant is accused of negligence for allegedly allowing a dangerous material to freely blow about the premises resulting in contamination and infection, failing to warn of the adherent danger to exposure to the chemical on vessels located near its facility, failing to take proper precautions to protect the public and failing to provide and enforce proper containment of the chemical.

The plaintiffs are represented by Eugene A. Ledet, Jr. of Dalrymple & Ledet in Alexandria. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00507

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