Diver alleges severe injuries, sues insurance firm

By The Louisiana Record | Apr 6, 2015

A Denham Springs man has sued his employer’s insurance firm, alleging breach of duty.

Kenneth H. Bratkowski filed a lawsuit March 23 in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana against Aspen Insurance UK of London over a 2014 diving accident.

According to the complaint, the defendant provided liability insurance to Bratkowski’s employer, Cal Dive International, and on Aug. 6, 2012, the plaintiff was on a routine dive to reroute a pipeline. The suit says that while opening a bell hatch, Bratkowski suffered injuries to his spine that permanently affected his right hip, leg and foot.

The suit states the accident resulted from negligence on the employer’s part to provide a safe workplace. Bratkowski alleges Cal Dive International allowed the M/V CAL DIVER I, the vessel in question, to be unseaworthy, or operational without sufficient upkeep.

The complaint says that as a result, Bratkowski must lie down every hour for about 15 minutes to relieve chronic pain, may require future surgery, has lost the use of his right leg and must stay medicated. The plaintiff also claims past and future mental and physical pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Bratkowski seeks $15 million in compensatory, punitive and general damages, plus attorney fees expenses, and costs.

He is represented by attorneys Robert K. Lansden of Ponchatoula, and Thomas Discon and Charlotte Discon of Discon Law Firm in Mandeville.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana: 2:15-cv-00900-MLCF-SS.

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