Seaman sues after falling off of unstable ladder

By Michelle Keahey | May 8, 2012


NEW ORLEANS - After falling off of an unstable ladder, a Jefferson Parish man has filed a lawsuit against his employer for failing to provide adequate equipment.

Douglas Luna filed suit against American Tugs Inc. and Molly Lee Towing Inc. on April 27 in federal court in New Orleans.

The alleged incident occurred on March 21 while Luna was working as a deckhand aboard the M/V Born Again. According to the lawsuit, Luna was assisting in the tying off of two empty barges and a crane barge by placing a stepladder against the empty barge. While Luna was on the ladder, it gave away and he fell to the deck of the crane barge. Luna states that he hit his lower back on the deck and on a steel bit located on the deck of the crane barge.

American Tugs and Molly Lee Towing are accused of negligence for failing to provide adequate equipment aboard the vessel, failing to provide adequate personnel to accomplish the barge tie-off operation, ordering the crew to work using unsafe conditions.

In addition, the defendants are accused of negligence for failing to properly supervise its employees, failing to properly train and supervise Luna and other employees, failing to provide Luna with a safe place to work, and requiring Luna to work in unsafe conditions.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, mental pain, suffering and anguish, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement and disability, loss of enjoyment of life, maintenance, cure, interest, court costs, and attorney's fees.

Luna is represented by Gretna attorneys Ronna M. Steele and Brian C. Beckwith.

U.S. District Judge Martin L. C. Feldman is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01073

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