A lawsuit was filed on behalf of an injured sailor on July 27th 2012 alleging claims of negligence on the part of his employer, Hercules Offshore. The sailor, who wishes to remain anonymous, was working on a Hercules Offshore vessel when he seriously injured his shoulder, leading to significant loss of income, medical expenses and emotional distress.
The seaman was injured while he was working on a jackup rig as an assistant in drilling operations, part of his job duties. His co-worker knocked him off the platform on which they were working, causing him to fall and dislocate his shoulder. The dislocation also caused serious damage to the nerves in his shoulder area, and it is not known whether full function of his arm will return.
The case against Hercules Offshore was filed in Harris County, Texas and is currently pending. The man in question is protected under the Jones Act which aims to protect any American citizen working in US navigable waters from injury. The Jones Act is only valid in a lawsuit if the plaintiff was contributing to the operation of the ship at the time of the incident, and if the vessel was in US navigable waters. Both of these conditions were true in this case, and therefore the man is entitled to file a suit against his employer.
The plaintiff is claiming compensation and is laying a charge of gross negligence against Hercules Offshore. According to the injured man, a number of preventable factors contributed to his accident. Firstly, crew members were not adequately trained to perform the task at hand and there was no supervision available at the time of the incident. If adequate supervision had been in place, the accident may not have occurred. In addition, the equipment on the rig was not properly maintained, leading to a possibly unsafe environment onboard the vessel and putting all the crew members at risk of injury or even death.
The man involved in this lawsuit has injured his arm, perhaps permanently, and as a result is no longer able to work onboard a ship. This has lead to a significant loss in earning potential for the seaman who is claiming compensation for both this loss, as well as his medical expenses and emotional distress caused by the accident. It is unclear as to the value of the total amount of compensation he will receive should his suit be successful.