Former shipping company employee claims lack of safety equipment led to brain injury

By Elizabeth Young | Apr 26, 2013

James M. Williams

NEW ORLEANS – A ship worker from Jefferson Davis Parish is suing his former employer after allegedly being injured on the job.

Jerome Duplechain filed suit against Kinder Morgan G.P. Inc. in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on March 4.

The case stems from an accident aboard the M/V Razorback, where Duplechain was employed. On Oct. 3 2010, the Razorback was off the coast of Texas when, the suit claims, Duplechain was violently thrown from the wheelhouse down a flight of stairs.

The plaintiff sustained severe injuries to his entire body, including injuries to his head, spine, hips, knees, shoulders and arms. He also claims he suffered severe memory loss, vertigo, loss of motor skills, cognitive deficits, brain damage, a subarachnoid hemorrhage and severe nervous shock.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to provide Duplechain a safe place to work, failing to provide safe and proper equipment, exposing the plaintiff to hazardous conditions without proper safety appurtenances and the failure of the captain to properly secure the vessel and the tow together by the use of Jockey wires prior to proceeding in open waters.

Damages in excess of $50,000 are sought for medical expenses, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, discomfort, anxiety, distress, disability, disfigurement, inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of life.

The plaintiff is represented by James M. Williams and Alanah O. Herbert of Gauthier, Houghtaling & Williams LLP and Raleigh Newman of Newman, Hoffoss and Devan LLP.

The case has been assigned to Division C Judge Sidney H. Cates IV.

Case No. 2013-2139.

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