After falling through a vessel's deck grating and into the Gulf of Mexico, Daniel W. Martin filed a lawsuit against his former employer, Noble Drilling (U.S.) and Noble Leasing (Switzerland) GMBH on Sept. 9 in federal court in New Orleans.

The accident happened on May 1, 2011 as Martin was working as a crewmember aboard the Noble Jim Thompson. He states he fell from the lower deck of the vessel into the Gulf of Mexico through a hole in the deck grating which became dislodged. Martin sustained severe injuries including vertebrae fractures. He states he suffered further injury when, after falling into high seas and in a frantic effort to survive, he clung to the side tank of the vessel. According to the complaint, he was injured from barnacles and the waves and due to the prospect of drowning.

Martin states that due to the incident he has been unable to resume his employment as a roustabout and crane operator trainee and has been unable to return to other gainful employment for which he is qualified by education, training and skill.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failure to provide Martin with a safe place to work, failure to provide a seaworthy vessel and appliances, failure to warn Martin and others about a known danger and to properly flag and restrict access to areas where the defective grating posed a safety hazard, failure to adequately inspect the vessel for safety hazards and repair same in a timely manner and failure to perform repairs to the vessel's deck grating in a safe manner.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical pain, suffering, disability, mental anguish, fear, fright, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, interest and court costs.

Martin is represented by Franklin G. Shaw, Walter J. Leger, Jr. and Walter J. Leger, III. of Leger & Shaw in Covington.

U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-02270

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