Injured Seaman Sues And Sparks Discussion

A man working on a vessel owned by the Ensco Offshore Co. has filed a lawsuit against the company after being injured on the job. Allegedly, a pallet that was being lifted fell on him while aboard the Ensco 82. The man, a Mississippi resident, suffered head and spinal injuries.

The original petition claims the Ensco Offshore Co. were negligent in the accident and that the vessel was not seaworthy at the time of the incident. In addition to the physical injuries incurred by the plaintiff there is a claim he has experienced mental anguish and a loss of wages. In total, the lawsuit seeks to claim $75,000 in damages.

The lawsuit was filed on the first of December 2010 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas. The alleged injury took place back in May 2010.

This incident is particularly relevant to Charleston job injury lawyers because the port of Charleston is large economic force in the area, employing many people. But, while it provides job opportunities, work as a seaman, longshoreman, and harbor work in general is dangerous and often leads to serious injuries and even death.

In on the job injuries sustained by seaman, workers’ compensation benefits can be pursued under the Jones Act and General Maritime Law. There are specific stipulations as to whether an employee is a “seaman,” thus determining whether damages and benefits can be sought under the Jones Act. For example, those who work on tankers, freighters, jack-up rigs, semi-submersibles, tow/tug boats, supply boats, crew boats, barges, lay barges, and fishing vessels are members of the crew and are considered seamen. Congress, in passing the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, limited application of the term “seaman” in the Jones Act to “a master or member of a crew of any vessel.”

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act covers most employees that are performing work that has a traditional relationship to maritime employment. There is also consideration given with regard to where (i.e. the location) the employee was working at the time of his accident. For example: the Act covers those workers engaged in unloading and loading ships as well as those that build, repair and/or dismantle ships.

The difference between the Acts is whether the injured party qualifies as a “seaman.” In any on the job injury, whether it be on a ship or at the shipyard, contact an attorney that is familiar with both Acts to help recover the compensation entitled to you as a worker.

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