Deckhand sues after co-worker's lack of action causes back injury

By Michelle Keahey | Mar 22, 2012


NEW ORLEANS - A Mississippi deckhand has filed a lawsuit against his employer after he injured his back when a crewmember failed to pull a wire line at the appropriate time.

Kevin L. Craft filed suit against Marquette Transportation Co. Inc. on March 1 in federal court in New Orleans.

Craft states he was injured on May 15, 2011 while he was working as a seaman and a crewmember onboard the M/V Kelly Rae Erickson. According to the lawsuit, Craft and a crewmember were attempting to tighten up the barges, with an "old, rusty, stiff and kinked" wire line. Craft states that as he attempted to pull on the wire line, the other crewmember failed to pull at the same time and Craft injured his back.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to provide a safe place to work, failing to properly maintain or replace the wire line which Craft was ordered to pull the slack out of, failing to provide Craft with safe and proper equipment to safely perform his job, for the deckhand failing to snatch the wire when he should have and for the captain's alleged negligence in ordering the men to tighten up the barges while he was in the process of a twisting maneuver as the vessel came out of the locks.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of damages for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, physical disfigurement, loss of earning capacity, loss of found damages, maintenance and cure, interest, court costs, and attorney's fees.

Craft is represented by Steve Gordon of Gordon, Elias & Seely in Houston. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00560

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