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Injured seaman brings claim against employer in Louisiana

A man recently brought a lawsuit in Louisiana against his employer for injuries he allegedly suffered while working on a tugboat. The man alleges he suffered injuries while working on a tugboat and accuses the owner of the tugboat and the barge of negligence and maintaining an unseaworthy vessel. According to the lawsuit, while the man was transferring from a tugboat to an equipment and materials barge he slipped and fell, allegedly suffering permanent and disabling injuries. The man's right knee was injured which required multiple surgeries and he was also injured generally according to the lawsuit.

The man is seeking expenses resulting from treatment of his injuries as well as additional damages concerning his employer's alleged failure to pay for his maintenance and care. In general, seaman may be able to seek recourse against their employers for injuries suffered on the job through the Jones Act which provides for injured seamen to seek damages from their employers for negligence if the employer's negligence caused the injuries suffered by the seaman.

Under the Jones Act, injured seamen may be able to recover past and future medical expenses for their injuries, lost earning capacity and pain and suffering damages, as well as other types of damages as the circumstances warrant. Certain requirements must be made to bring a claim for damages under the Jones Act, including that the party bringing the claim must be a seaman working on a vessel according to definitions contained in the Jones Act.

Injured seaman face not only a potential threat to their livelihood but may also face physical and emotional damages. Because of the sometimes legally complex nature of working on the water, it is important that injured seaman and their employers understand the legal process associated with accidents and injuries that occur on the water.

Source: The Louisiana Record, "Seaman sues Baton Rouge-based towing and salvage company claiming permanent slip and fall injuries," Gene Johnson, Nov. 17, 2015

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