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Mariner falls on ship, files Jones Act lawsuit in Louisiana

People who work on ships have reasonable expectations that the owner of the ship will keep the ship in good working condition in order to help prevent injuries. One mariner has filed a lawsuit in the 24th Judicial District Court in Louisiana against Liberty Maritime Corporation and the company's insurer after he received significant injuries on the ship while it was sailing in open waters heading to Panama.

The man says he fell on his head, side and back from approximately 12 feet. He states that he was told to grease the traps as part of the preparation efforts to unload cargo. He was descending down the scaffolding when he fell. He received several injuries in the accident.

He has sued for loss of support, loss of earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, loss of household services, disfigurement, disability, inconvenience, mental pain and suffering, physical pain and suffering, and medical expenses. The amount in damages he is seeking is unspecified.

The man asserts that the owner of the ship took him to a hotel. He says it was two days before he was taken to the hospital. The allegations against the shipping company and its insurer include failing to keep a proper lookout, negligent supervision, violating all applicable rules, allowing a dangerous condition to exist, negligently placing the plaintiff in a dangerous situation, failing to take all reasonable evasive action to prevent the accident, maintaining an unreasonably dangerous condition on its vessel, inattentiveness, and failing to provide a sufficient number of properly trained crew members.

This Jones Act lawsuit shows the seriousness of properly maintaining ships to ensure crew safety. Anyone who has suffered serious injuries after a maritime accident might have a claim under the Jones Act. Maritime laws, such as the Jones Act, are in place specifically for the purpose of protecting workers while at sea.

Source: The Louisiana Record, "Mariner sues over injuries in fall on ship headed to Panama" Kyle Barnett, Apr. 17, 2014

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