NEW ORLEANS – A deckhand is holding his former employer over work injuries he allegedly suffered when he fell down a flight of stairs.

Trent Rodrigue has filed a suit on Feb. 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Fleet Operators Inc., citing gross negligence.

Rodrigue asserts that he suffered a fall on or about Oct. 14, 2015, while employed by Fleet Operators Inc. as a deckhand aboard the vessel Madison. He claims that, after completing a task for his relief captain, he was walking down a flight of stairs when he slipped on the second or third step and landed onto his back and fell down the stairwell, landing at the deck plate.

Rodrigue attests that the defendant failed to properly maintain the stairwell to avoid injuries. Such failures allegedly included failing to keep the walking treads and/or failing to provide appropriate nonskid material.

The plaintiff allegedly completed an injury report immediately after the accident and notified the relief captain of his back pain. However, plaintiff claims that, despite the complaint, he was directed to continue his job duties. He attests that his injuries were worsened as a direct result of having to work after the fall. He also claims that defendants have not paid him compensation for maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act.

He is suing for punitive damages, actual damages, exemplary damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs of the suit, attorney's fees, and any other awards deemed just by the court. He is requesting a trial by jury and is represented by M. Paul Skrabanek from Pierce Skrabanek Bruera PLLC in Houston.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-cv-00940-SM-MBN

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