Louisiana Record

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Seaman who was exposed to tracer dye alleges it caused him cancer

By Hoang Tran | Mar 17, 2016

Cancer capsule

NEW ORLEANS – A seaman who was an alleged victim of a prank claims that his employer and co-worker are responsible for the cancer he later developed.

Brent Little filed a lawsuit on March 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Halliburton Energy Services Inc. and John Barrow over alleged negligent acts.

Little asserts that he was employed by Halliburton on the Liftboat Vanessa in the Gulf of Mexico on or about March 14, 2014. Little was allegedly the victim of a prank in which defendant Barrow allegedly placed red tracer dye into Little’s boot. He claims to have worn the boot for 14 hours that day and, after removing the boots, he heard laughter and noticed pink footprints on the floor. Little was then allegedly told that red tracer dye was a carcinogen, and the dye stained his foot for three weeks.

Halliburton allegedly launched an investigation and found Barrow to be responsible. As is allegedly pertinent to the case, the jar in which the red tracer dye was placed was under the care and custody of Halliburton but stored in the crew’s living quarters and had no label or warning signs that identified it as a hazardous.

On or about May 16, 2015, the suit states Little was involved in an automobile accident and, as a result of the accident, had a CT scan done. The scan and tests purportedly revealed that he had thyroid cancer. He had to undergo thyroidectomy as well as the removal of some lymph nodes, the suit states.

Little claims that his exposure to the red tracer dye and defendants' acts of negligence led to the cancer in his body. He asserts that Halliburton violated Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations in exposing its employees to dangerous substances, failed to properly maintain a safe working environment, failed to properly monitor dangerous substances, and negligently hired Barrow.

Little is now suing for $2.5 million, punitive damages attorney fees, for the cost of the suit, and any other general relief deemed proper by the court. He is seeking a jury trial and is represented by Craig S. Sossaman and Michael W. Collins from the Law Offices of Craig S. Sossaman in Metairie.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-cv-02162-HGB-DEK

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Halliburton HQU.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana