NEW ORLEANS – A Florida man is suing his employer, National Oilwell Varco, for work-related injuries he sustained aboard a ship docked in Port Fourchon.

Donald W. Rinehart Jr. filed a lawsuit Nov. 23 in Eastern District Court against National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and Starfleet Marine Transportation Inc., alleging negligence under general maritime law.

According to the complaint, Rinehart was engineer aboard the marine vessel Starfleet Viking on Aug. 21, 2014, when the captain ordered him to assist with loading pallets while the vessel was docked. The plaintiff claims a pallet fork slipped off the mobile crane used to carry pallets, striking Rinehart in the back of the head, causing neurological deficits, inability to swallow normal food and other severe injuries. NOV is liable, the suit says, because the hook failed to meet federal safety regulations.

Rinehart seeks a jury trial and damages of more than $75,000. He is represented by New Orleans attorney John H. Ryan.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Case number 2:15-cv-06266

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