NEW ORLEANS – A longshoreman has filed suit after a forklift allegedly rolled over his leg while working on a vessel.

Shawn Johnson of New Orleans filed a lawsuit against Volunteer Barge & Transport, Inc. in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

The suit claims that on June 17, 2014 Johnson was working aboard River Barde CHB-9432, which was owned and operated by the defendant. The plaintiff alleges that, as a result of insufficient space, a forklift hit or rolled over a “defective dip or a hole” in the barge floor, causing the forklift to impact a bundle of aluminum plates which subsequently and unexpectedly fell on the plaintiff’s leg causing serious and permanent leg injury.

The plaintiff asserts that the barge floor was unsafe and unseaworthy because of uneven surface and it did not have sufficient space to conduct activities such as forklifts moving bundles, to operate safely.

The plaintiff filed a 905(B) claim against the defendant-vessel owner, pursuant to the “savings to suitors” clause, arguing that the defendant acted negligently by providing an unsafe vessel, providing an unseaworthy vessel, and failing to provide safe work within the vessel, constituting negligence per se. Johnson alleges that, as a result of defendant’s unsafe, unseaworthy and negligent actions and inactions, he suffered severe and permanent injuries including the loss of his leg below the knee.

The plaintiff seeks damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, medical expenses, loss of income, and disfigurement.

Johnson is represented by Gilbert Andry, IV of The Andry Law firm based in New Orleans.

The case has been assigned to Division L Judge Kern A. Reese, Chief Judge.

Case No. 2015-05801.

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