Seaman claims hammer hit by coworker fault of ship company

David Yates Aug. 18, 2008, 7:40am

After being whacked on the head with a sledge hammer by a fellow shipmate, a Mississippi seaman has filed a lawsuit against his employer, claiming the company negligently failed to supervise its employees.

Nicky Hutson filed his suit against Rowan Companies Inc. on Aug. 15 in Jefferson County District Court.

Court papers show that on May 23, 2007, Hutson was employed by Rowan as a Jones Act Seaman aboard the vessel Bob Palmer, located in Sabine Pass.

"Hutson experienced an accident which resulted in serious painful injuries to his head and other parts of his body while employed by Rowan and while being supervised by Rowan," the suit says.

"Specifically, another employee struck Hutson on the head with a sledge hammer causing him to sustain a closed head injury."

In his complaint, Hutson claims Rowan is negligent for failing to properly supervise its crew and provide adequate safety equipment.

"Plaintiff is … entitled to punitive damages because of the defendant's actions," the suit says.

"Defendant acted with flagrant and malicious disregard of Plaintiff's health and safety. Defendant was subjectively aware of the extreme risk posed by the conditions which caused Plaintiff's injury, but did nothing to rectify them."

Hutson is also suing for past and future mental anguish, lost wages and medical expenses.

He is represented by Kurt Arnold, a partner in the Arnold & Itkin law firm.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield of the 136th Judicial District.

Case No. D182-232

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