Offshore worker sues claiming he was overcome by noxious fumes

By Chelsea Partington | Sep 15, 2014

NEW ORLEANS – An offshore worker is suing his employer, an international petroleum service company, for negligence allegedly resulting in his collapse and subsequent injury due to hazardous vapors aboard one of its ships.

Ladell Thomas filed suit against Tidewater, Inc. in the New Orleans Parish Central District Court on July 28.

Thomas claims that on July 6, 2013, he was aboard the M/V Loving Tide, an offshore supply vessel owned and operated by Tidewater Inc. that was located on State of Louisiana waters. The plaintiff asserts that he was working in the ship's stern compartment when he fainted, overcome by noxious fumes.

As a result of the fall, Thomas allegedly sustained personal injuries to his lower back and other areas. Thomas reports that his injuries are severe and have affected both his body and mind.

The defendant is accused of negligence, including failure to exercise due care under the circumstances to avoid exposing Thomas to harm from hazards aboard the vessel, and failure to warn Thomas of dangers presented by vapors around the work area.

The plaintiff seeks an unknown amount in compensatory damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, medical expenses, permanent disability, disfigurement, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and loss of enjoyment of life.

Thomas is also seeking an unknown amount in punitive damages and charges that these are appropriate as Tidewater was grossly negligent and acted willfully and wantonly in reckless disregard of the well-being of the plaintiff by failing to limit his access to that area of the vessel and failing to warn him of the noxious vapors.

Ladell Thomas is represented by Berney L. Strauss of Strauss & King APLC.

The case has been assigned to District N Judge Ethel S. Julien.

Case no. 2014-07412.

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