Seaman hit in the face with slag, invokes Jones Act and sues

David Yates May 21, 2007, 12:00pm

Juan Gonzales, an injured seaman, invoked the Jones Act and sued Beacon Maritime and Murphy Oil USA, Inc.

The Jones Act is legislation written to aid injured seamen.

According to Gonzales' original petition, filed on May 18 with the Jefferson County District Court, on May 15, 2005, he was employed by Beacon and was a borrowed seaman for Murphy aboard a jack up rig.

"While the rig was deployed in navigable waters, Gonzales sustained serious injuries when he was hit by flying slag (molten metal)," the suit said. "As a result of defendants' negligence, plaintiff injured his ear, head and other parts of his body. He has had multiple surgeries, and sustained hearing loss."

The suit says the defendants are negligent for failing to properly supervise the crew, train their employees, provide adequate safety equipment and medical treatment, and operating the vessel with an inadequate crew.

Gonzales is suing for physical pain and suffering in the past and future, mental anguish in the past and future, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement in the past and future, physical impairment in the past and future, and past and future medical expenses.

He is represented by Stephen Foster, attorney for the Arnold & Itkin law firm, and is requesting a trial by jury.

Court assignment is pending.

Case No. B179-328

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