Suit: Seaman's fall in shower due to lack of supervision, training

David Yates Nov. 7, 2007, 3:54am

Cory Itkin

A steward aboard a jack-up rig is suing his employers because he slipped and fell in the shower. Lamar Bertram claims Hercules Drilling Company and Universal Sodexho Inc. negligently caused the incident by failing to supervise and train him and his fellow employees.

Bertram and his lawyer, Cory Itkin, also claim Hercules failed to provide adequate safety equipment while he bathed. Itkin is an attorney for the Arnold & Itkin law firm.

Under the Jones Act, Itkin filed Bertram's personal injury lawsuit with the Jefferson County District Court on Nov. 5.

"This lawsuit is necessary as a result of personal injuries that plaintiff received on September 2005," the suit said. "Plaintiff was employed by defendants as a steward aboard a jack up rig. Plaintiff sustained serious injuries when he slipped and fell in the shower."

The suit alleges that the defendants are negligent for the following reasons:
Failure to properly supervise their crew;
Failure to properly train their employees;
Failure to provide adequate safety equipment;
Failure to provide adequate medical treatment;
Operating the vessel with an inadequate crew;
Failure to maintain the vessel;
Vicariously liable for their employees' negligence;
And other acts deemed negligent.

The suit also alleges that the jack-up rig was unseaworthy.

"As a result of said occurrences, plaintiff sustained severe injuries to his body, which resulted in physical pain, mental anguish, and other medical problems," the suit said.

"Plaintiff has sustained severe pain, physical impairment, discomfort, mental anguish, and distress. In all reasonable probability, plaintiff's physical pain, physical impairment and mental anguish will continue indefinitely. Plaintiff has also suffered a loss of earnings in the past, as well as a loss of future earning capacity. Plaintiff has incurred and will incur pharmaceutical and medical expenses in connection with his injuries."

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, will preside over the case.

Case No. E180-706

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