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Employee files lawsuit for injuries caused by defective tools

A seaman employed by a Louisiana company filed a lawsuit on March 23 after he suffered an injury while using tools provided by his employer. He claimed that he suffered injuries to his back and other areas of his body which resulted in a loss of wages as well as physical pain and mental duress.

The complaint states that the plaintiff was injured on Oct. 22, 2016, when he was employed by Baywater Drilling LLC based in Baton Rouge. He was working on board an inland barge using a pneumatic wrench to tighten bolts on a blowout preventer. The employee argued that the employer failed to provide a safe workplace and provided tools that were defective. The employee is requesting a jury trial and is seeking damages in excess of the minimum jurisdictional amount.

Companies are responsible for ensuring that the workplace environment is safe and maintained. This includes tools and any equipment the employer provides for the employees to use. If there are hazards involved in the job, employers are responsible for clearly labeling the hazards and for providing proper training to prevent or minimize injuries that could occur.

On-the-job injuries incurred by seamen are covered by different laws than the Louisiana workers' compensation statute. In some cases, these workers might be able to seek benefits under the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. In other situations, injured plaintiffs might choose to file a lawsuit against the employer based on negligence. An attorney who has experience with these types of matters can explain the options.

Source: The Louisiana Record, "Baywater Drilling employee alleges unsafe work environment", Michael Abella, March 31, 2017

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