Injured seaman sues under Jones Act

David Yates Jun. 4, 2007, 10:00am

Nearly two years ago, Damion Robertson injured himself by removing a ground clamp while at sea. Under the Jones Act, Robertson has decided to sue his former employer Horizon Offshore Inc.

Robertson filed his original petition with the Jefferson County District Court on May 31. Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

According to the suit, on June 27, 2005, Robertson received serious and disabling injuries while working on a pipe-laying barge, the Lone Star Horizon, on navigable waters.

"Plaintiff was injured when he was told to remove the ground clamp," the suit said. "While plaintiff was trying to remove the clamp, the pipe was rolled...dislocating his shoulder while in the course and scope of his employment and while performing his assigned duties for defendant."

The defendant, Horizon Offshore, was the owner and operator of the Lone Star Horizon, at the time of the incident.

"The plaintiff's injuries were caused by and resulted from the negligence of the defendant, their master, agents, servants, and employees and were proximately caused by the defendant," the suit said. "At all times material to these proceedings, the plaintiff was a member of the crew of the Lone Star Horizon, and received his injuries while serving as a seaman aboard the barge."

The suit goes on to say Horizon "maintained the power to control and direct the activities of Plaintiff." Therefore, is liable as the Jones Act employer of Robertson. "Further, Defendant owed plaintiff a duty to furnish him a safe place to work and a duty to provide for the safety of the crew."

Robertson is suing for past and future loss of earning capacity, medical costs, physical pain and impairment and mental anguish.

"The plaintiff has suffered a loss of enjoyment of life as a result of the injuries incurred," the suit said.

Robertson is represented by Houston attorney Blaine A. Tucker. He is demanding a trial by jury.

Case No. A179-406

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