Cruise line sued after employee injures leg during unannounced drill aboard the vessel

By Leon Roy, IV | Sep 10, 2015

NEW ORLEANS – A Tennessee man has filed suit against a cruise line after he sustained injuries during a late night safety drill.

NCL (Bahamas) Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Line are being sued in Orleans Parish Civil District Court by former employee Kelly David Johnson of Tennessee, after the plaintiff allegedly injured his leg during a drill aboard the vessel.

On Oct. 31, 2014, Johnson was allegedly awoken from his sleep by a safety drill conducted on board the vessel which was docked in New Orleans. As a result, the plaintiff asserts that he injured his knee, leg and body as he attempted to exit the bunk.

According to the petition, Johnson was seen by two different doctors following the alleged fall. According to Johnson, both physicians instructed him to cease work and declared him unfit for duty. Despite the doctors instructions, the plaintiff claims he was ordered by the defendant to continue to perform his duties on the vessel.

The plaintiff states that his injuries were exacerbated by the defendant’s conduct of ordering him to continue to work despite instruction and “not fit for duty” slips. The plaintiff argues that such failure to pay maintenance and cure by the defendant was negligent, arbitrary, and/or capricious and has caused his medical condition to worsen.

The defendant is accused of negligence by failing to provide the plaintiff with proper notice of the drill, failing to relieve the plaintiff from his duties in light of the doctors’ instructions and slips, failing to medically discharge the plaintiff and pay for him to return to the U.S. for proper medical care and failing to properly pay and/or approve maintenance and/or cure for plaintiff as required by general maritime law.

Consequently, the plaintiff seeks damages in the form of pain, suffering and mental anguish; lost wages; loss of earning capacity; medicals; and physical impairment.

Johnson is represented by Paul R. Miller of the Chaffin Law Firm, P.C. in Houston, Texas.

The case has been assigned to Division J Judge Paula A. Brown.

Case No. 2015-06127.

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