Improper egress blamed for seaman's injuries

David Yates Oct. 24, 2007, 9:21am

Jesus Chapa, a seaman, was injured while exiting the barge Pacific Horizon. Under the Jones Act, he is suing Horizon Offshore Inc. for failing to provide proper egress (exit) procedures.

Chapa is seeking declaratory judgment against Horizon Offshore. His personal injury lawsuit was filed with the Jefferson County District Court on Oct. 22. Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th Judicial District will preside over the case.

According to the plaintiff's original petition, on Aug. 27, 2007, Chapa was exiting the Pacific Horizon when he fell, "causing him serious and disabling injuries.

The suit does not describe the nature of Chapa's injuries or how Horizon Offshore's exit procedures were negligent.

The suit only says "that nothing Chapa did or failed to do�caused or in any way contributed to his injuries."

The suit goes on to say Offshore owed him a duty to provide Chapa with a safe place to work.

Chapa is suing for past and future medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement impairment and loss of earning capacity.

He is represented by Richard Plezia of the Houston law firm Plezia, McLemore, Reddell, Ardoin & Story.

According to the company's Web site, Horizon Offshore, Inc. provides marine construction services to the offshore oil and gas industry around the world. "The Company's fleet is used to perform a wide range of marine construction activities, including installation and burial of marine pipelines with conventional 'S' pipelay and 'reel' pipelay methods, derrick barge operations for installation of new and abandonment of old oil and gas producing facilities."

Case No. D180-570

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