Articles Posted in Offshore Injury

Two men’s routine fishing trip was literally and figuratively upheaved when another marine vessel’s high rate of speed resulted in the capsizing of their boat, allegedly leaving the two men with various injuries.

Benjamin Lee Hines, Sr., and Andreas Damone Vitto sued Southern States Offshore Inc. on January 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana., alleging negligence and personal injury liability.

According to the suit, the two men were fishing out of a recreational vessel around Maxie’s Grocery Store near Intercostal City in Vermillion Parish on September 27, 2014.  At a certain time that day, Southern States Offshore’s vessel, the Southern Belle, entered that waterway at an alleged high rate of speed.  The suit states that the rate was much too fast for prevailing conditions that day, and caused an intense wake.  It is this wake which allegedly capsized the boat Hines and Vitto were fishing out of, knocking both men into the water.

Clint A. Coffey filed a lawsuit on December 1 against Marquette Transportation, citing violations of the Jones Act and negligence in maintaining safe working conditions.  The Jones Act is set of maritime laws enacted in 1920 governing seaman’s compensation when injured.

According to the suit, Coffey was serving as a senior deckhand aboard the Kelly Rae Erickson under the employ of Marquette Transportation at the time of the purported incident.  On February 19, as Coffey attempted to traverse from one vessel to another, he slipped on the icy deck.  Coffey allegedly suffered severe and permanent injuries to his left shoulder, back, and other areas, leaving him in a state of disability.

The suit seeks punitive and compensatory damages to be determined at trial, as well as medical expenses.  The case will be heard in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

A pilot’s wife has accused several companies of performing faulty maintenance on the helicopter her husband was flying when it suffered catastrophic engine failure, which led to his death.

Colleen Hicks, of Oklahoma, individually, on behalf of her minor children, and as representative of her husband, Brandon Seth Ricks, filed suit on December 10 against Cadorath Aerospace LaFayette LLC, H&H Turbine Services LLC and Rotorcraft Leasing Co. LLC, claiming negligence that resulted in Brandon Ricks’s death.

The complaint states that Brandon Ricks, age 40, was piloting a Model 206 L-1 helicopter from Griffin Memorial Airport in Mississippi to aid in a controlled burn initiated by the U.S. Forest Service on March 30.  At a point during the flight, engine failed, resulting in a crash that killed both Ricks and the passenger.  According to the suit, Cadorath and the other defendants performed negligent maintenance on the craft from 2009 to 2014 which caused the engine failure in question.

A tugboat captain has sued a fellow tug company as a result of an injury sustained while on the water, according to the filed complaint

Troy Matthiews, a tugboat captain for Bayou Vista, and Tracey, his wife, have filed suit against Crosby Tugs, citing negligence and personal injury stemming from an alleged incident occurring in 2014.

On November 30, 2014, Matthiews was attempting to cross from his boat, the Morgan Ray, to another tugboat, when both boats were passed by a third.  According to the complaint, the third boat, the Crosby Rambler, was going at an excessive rate of speed.  As a result, the wave generated in the Rambler’s wake knocked Matthiews off balance and tossed him between the two other boats, causing severe injury.

Another lawsuit has arisen from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, this time stemming from the cleanup of the aforementioned accident.

Josip Piacun filed a complaint against BP Exploration & Production Inc., and B.P. America Production Co. alleging gross negligence under general maritime law.  Piacun claimed that the company negligently exposed him to hazardous and cancer-causing compounds.

Piacun was hired as a vessel captain in April 20, 2010, in response to the BP oil spill.  While he was employed from June 2010 to December 2010, Piacun claims BP negligently exposed him to dermal and airborne chemical compounds that are generally accepted to be toxic, volatile, and carcinogenic.  The suit states that, as a result of this exposure, Piacun “developed psychological, dermal, respiratory, and cardiopulmonary complications.”

A former employee of Phoenix International Holdings Inc., is suing his former employer as well as several affiliated parties for alleged negligence which resulted in injuries sustained while working offshore.

On October 16, John Bubenik of Florida filed suit in the Eastern District Court of Louisiana against Phoenix International Holdings Inc., MC Offshore Petroleum Inc., and its insurers.  In the suit, Bubenik alleges that unsafe conditions lead to the injuring of his eye while on the job.

Bubenik was working aboard the Odyssea Courage and was employed by Phoenix International Holdings Inc. as a dive supervisor, commercial diver and seaman.  The defendants were performing water blasting on the vessel, and at some point this activity caused metal particles to careen into his eye, causing an abrasion of the cornea.  Bubenik was airlifted from the worksite to receive medical treatment on October 21.  Bubenik’s suit alleges that the defendant’s lack of care while working was a contributing factor in his injury.

Blake David

Blake David of Broussard & David, LLC, Lafayette, was recently named Maritime Section Chair for the Louisiana Association for Justice (LAJ). The Maritime Section of this legal group concerns itself with improving the skill and knowledge of lawyers who represent workers injured in offshore accidents so that their families receive fair compensation from negligent parties and their insurers. The Maritime Section is one of LAJ’s larger sections, due to the increased industrial activity in Louisiana state waterways, rivers, canals, marshes and also given Louisiana’s proximity to work performed offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and the Outer Continental Shelf.

Mr. David has 14 years of experience practicing maritime and admiralty law. His area of practice focuses on personal injury and wrongful death litigation with an emphasis on offshore/maritime, trucking accident, aviation, products liability, industrial accident, and automobile claims. He speaks annually at the Louisiana State Bar Association Admiralty Symposium and is frequently invited to address attorney organizations around the state.

Mr. David was raised in Lafayette and is a founding partner of Broussard & David, LLC. He is the past president of the Lafayette Bar Association, past president of the American Inn of Court of Acadiana, and founding board member and past president of the Federal Bar Association’s Lafayette Chapter. Mr. David is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and recognized by Louisiana Super Lawyers (2012-2016), National Trial Lawyers (2012-2016) and National Association of Distinguished Counsel, which is awarded to the nation’s top one percent of attorneys (2015).

 

A boating incident between a recreational boat and an oilfield crew boat resulted in one fatality and left two others injured in Cameron Parish last Thursday.

Wildlife and Fisheries reported that the accident occurred around 8 a.m. on October 8th.  The oilfield crew boat, which was carrying two, and the other boat carrying a family of three collided in a curve in a canal in Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.

The family, a father and his two adult sons, were flung from their boat by the impact.  They were pulled from the water by the members of the crew boat who then docked at a nearby landing and contacted an ambulance.

Up to four people have been left dead and two injured after an explosion occurred at Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company, a Williams Partners’ subsidiary, on Bayou Black Drive in Terrebonne Parish.

After the explosion occurred at 11 a.m. on October 8th, 2015, it was initially reported that the 13 employees stationed at the facility were uninjured and accounted for.  Four contractors who were performing scheduled maintenance at the facility are being treated for injuries sustained as a result of the incident, the severity of which is unknown at this time.

However, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff on the scene Jerry Larpenter reported that he believed at least believed three people were dead at the plant and one other worker had died at the hospital after being recovered by hazmat teams from the site.  The hazmat suits are required due to the heat remaining at the explosion site.  Two other individuals suffered serious injuries.

A family is suing BP for the wrongful death of their father as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Incident.  Nedjelka Mjehovic, Vlaho Mjehovic and Borislava Mjehovic have accused BP of negligence that resulted in the wrongful death of their father, Miro Mjehovic, filing suit on his behalf.

Detailed in the complaint, Miro was the captain of a vessel that performed clean-up duties under the direction of BP.  Miros was employed by U.S. Maritime Services of New Orleans but was hired by BP following the Deepwater Horizon Incident.  He was performing his duties off the coast of St. Bernard parish and Plaquemines parish when he came into dermal and airborne contact with crude oil containing volatile compounds which, according to the plaintiffs, are widely regarded as toxic and carcinogenic.  As a result of this alleged contact, Miro developed dermal, respiratory, and cardiopulmonary complications culminating in acquired hemophilia, which he died from in 2012 despite medical care.

In their complaint, the Mjehovics state that their father should have been better protected from hazardous chemical exposure and that BP should have taken such precautions.  The suit claims breach of duty and three counts of negligence, stemming from failure to prevent the Deepwater Horizon explosion, failure to cap the Macondo well properly, and failure to warn personnel and properly equip employees.

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