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Injured maritime worker sues employer for negligence

If an employee was to fall down in a Lake Charles office because his or her employer had created a hazardous work environment, there would be no question that the employee could attempt to seek compensation from the employer. While seamen and other maritime workers are similarly exposed to dangerous conditions, they must utilize federal maritime laws to hold their employers liable for any injuries or damage done on the job.

A seaman filed suit in the federal district court in New Orleans in July after he says he sustained a disabling injury while on his employer’s ship. The man had been working as a seaman for Swan Marine Operators in June 2011 when he apparently fell down the stairs inside the ship. The man says that his injuries were quite severe and he is asking for compensation for his disability, mental anguish, medical expenses and pain, among other things.

According to the seaman, his employer had created a dangerous and unsafe work environment and, by failing to warn its employees about the hazardous conditions in and around the stairwell, it was negligent. The man also believes Swan is liable for his injuries because it did nothing to find or fix the dangerous conditions on the ship.

Louisiana’s seamen have every right to a safe work environment and it is important that if their employers fail to provide that safe environment, that they try to hold those employers responsible for any injuries or damage that result from an accident. It is not fair to force injured maritime workers to pay for their own medical bills when it is their employers’ fault they were injured in the first place.

Source: The Louisiana Record, “Alabama seaman sues claiming he suffered disabling injuries after falling down stairs,” Michelle Keahey, Aug. 20, 2012

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