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Louisiana maritime workplace injury ends up in federal court

Everyone in Louisiana has the right to a safe workplace. It is true that certain jobs come with more risk and threat of injury than other jobs, but it is a Lake Charles employer’s responsibility to train its employees how to do their jobs without putting themselves or others in danger. These same rules apply on the water and anyone who experiences a Louisiana maritime workplace injury can file suit under general maritime law for his or her injuries and pain and suffering.

This is exactly what two Louisiana seamen did after they say they were injured when another boat crashed into the side of theirs. The two men were working on their employer’s ship in early March, waiting for the fog to clear before they could untie from the dock and head out. As the two men sat on the immobile ship, another vessel from the same fleet and the same employer crashed into theirs.

Both men were injured in the accident and have filed a maritime workplace injury lawsuit against their employer. The men have asked a federal court for damages to cover their medical expenses; lost wages; physical pain and suffering; and mental pain, suffering and anguish. The two men also hope to have their court costs; attorney fees; and damages for loss of earning capacity and fringe benefits and disfigurement and disability covered.

The seamen allege that their employer had not provided adequate supervision of the other vessel and that the seamen on the other boat were not properly trained, leading to this accident. It appears that if the men and women had had sufficient guidance and instruction, they may not have taken the boat out and attempted to operate it in such dangerous weather.

Source: The Louisiana Record, “Seamen sue after collision during dense fog,” Michelle Keahey, March 22, 2012

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