NEW ORLEANS - A tug boat captain has filed a lawsuit against his employer for negligence after he was struck in the head by a hatch.

Warren James Soileau Jr. filed suit against AC Marine Inc. and ABC Insurance Co. on Feb. 14 in federal court in New Orleans.

The alleged incident occurred on March 1, 2011 while Soileau was employed by AC Marine as the Captain of the tug boat the M/V Travis Henry.

Soileau states that he was traveling aboard the vessel from the engine room when he was struck in the head by a hatch, which was used to access a small passageway in the vessel's interior. He states that the incident has left him permanently disabled.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to repair the defective latch on the hatch, a defect of which the defendant was aware, and for for failing to provide adequate equipment and crew to do the job safely.

Soileau states that the vessel was unseaworthy as the vessel was not reasonably fit for the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for lost wages and impairment of earning capacity, medical expenses, physical injury and disability, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and distress, loss of found, loss of enjoyment of life, interest and court costs.

Soileau is represented by John W. deGravelles and Stephanie B. Hulett of deGravelles, Palmintier, Holthaus & Fruge in Baton Rouge.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00430

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