Many Louisianans rely on the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico to earn their living. Whether they work on oil rigs or on shipping vessels, these workers, oftentimes without even realizing it, put their safety on the line for the betterment of their employers. Though state and federal regulations seek to keep these employees safe from unsafe working conditions, far too often vessel owners fail to maintain their ships in a way that abides by those safety regulations.
For example, one need only look to a recently filed lawsuit against Caillou Island Towing Co. Inc. There, a worker claims that company failed to maintain the vessel in a safe and seaworthy condition. The lawsuit arose after the man, while performing his job duties, slipped and fell on the vessel, causing him to suffer a knee injury. The man claims that one reason for the incident is that the towing company allowed the non-skid coating on the vessel’s deck to wear away and failed to notify employees of the dangerous condition and remedy it in a timely fashion.
The damages resulting from an injury like this can be quite extensive. This man seeks compensation for his physical pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earnings potential, disability and disfigurement. These damages are quite common in these types of lawsuits, and are critical to aiding a victim in obtaining the medical care he or she needs while being able to make ends meet.
These types of cases are subject to maritime and admiralty laws, and proving that an unseaworthy vessel is responsible for a victim’s injuries requires knowledge of the law and an ability to apply it. Thus, seamen who have been hurt in an incident like the one discussed above may want to discuss the matter with a legal professional of their choosing.
Source: The Louisiana Record, “Seaman alleges knee injury caused by unseaworthy vessel,” Michael Abella, Sept. 30 2016