This blog has previously covered the different types of maritime workplace injuries and the various federal laws that cover Louisiana employees. The Jones Act covers workers who are injured at sea but generally only applies to seamen. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, however, may sometimes cover injured seamen, but not always.
Because these federal maritime laws are complex, it is advisable that anyone injured in a workplace injury contact a maritime law attorney to investigate what legal options are available.
In this story, a seaman from St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, was working on his employer’s boat when he says he slipped and fell in hydraulic fluid and water that had collected on the deck. The many had been trying to move cables across the boat’s deck when he stepped into a puddle of fluid on the left side of the vessel.
The seaman fell backwards and injured his back. What makes matters worse, the deckhand couldn’t get the care he needed to recover under his medical plan. The employer apparently didn’t have a comprehensive enough benefits plan to cover what must have been considerable medical bills.
The man has filed a maritime workplace injury lawsuit in federal court, alleging that his employer was negligent in allowing the hydraulic fluid to collect on the deck. It is unclear how much he is asking for in damages.
Like other workers who are injured at sea, it is important that the deckhand get competent and experienced legal help in his lawsuit.
Source: The Louisiana Record, “Seaman sues employer for not providing adequate benefits to treat injury,” Michelle Keahey, April 24, 2012