NEW ORLEANS— A man is suing the owner of the vessel upon which he allegedly sustained injuries while under orders from a custom's officer.

Jack McElveen filed suit against Waterman Steamship Corporation and its insurance company in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

The plaintiff’s petition for damages cites violations of the Jones Act for general maritime law. McElveen claims that he slipped and fell due to the defendant’s negligence while en route to Kenya, Africa to unload cargo aboard the M/V Maersk Alabama. He alleges that in attempting to comply with a custom’s agent’s order to clean out the ship’s freezer, he fell, twisting his knee and hitting his back. McElveen says that he was determined unfit for duty in July 2012 and the defendant failed to timely pay benefits for his injuries.

Waterman Steamship is accused of negligence for the unreasonably dangerous situation that they failed to warn about, provide the proper lookout and take action to avoid. The suit also alleges that there was insufficient and untrained crew as well as an inactive master and crew of the vessel.

An undisclosed amount in damages is sought for mental and physical pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of support, inconvenience, disability and disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and loss of household service.

The plaintiff is represented by K. Adam Avin of Irpino, Avin, Higgin & Hawkins.

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

Case no. 2013-09666.

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