Seaman blames back injury on employer's negligence

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Sep. 9, 2008, 3:56am

GALVESTON – A Monroe, La., seaman has accused his Delaware-based employer of negligence, which led to an injury he sustained nearly a year ago.

George "Allen" Gordon is suing Diamond Offshore Services Co. in Galveston County District Court for prolongation of injuries, pain and suffering, and additional expenses.

The personal injury suit was filed before the 10th District Court on Aug. 25.

Recent court documents say Gordon sustained "severe and painful injuries to his back" on or around Oct. 28, 2007, while working as a floorhand for Diamond Offshore Services Company aboard the vessel Ocean Crusader.

"On said date defendants were negligent and the vessel was unseaworthy," they state.

"Such occurrences and such injuries occurred as a proximate result of the unsafe and unseaworthy condition of the Ocean Crusader, its crews and appurtenances and/or equipment or, in whole or in part, as a proximate result of the initial acts and/or negligence or lack of attention on the part of defendants, its agents, servants, and/or employees acting in the course and scope of their employment and agency."

The Ocean Crusader was not named in the suit in any capacity.

Gordon argues he suffered severe bodily injuries, mental anguish, and other medical problems as a result of the incident. He also claims the injury has left him unable to make a living, which reportedly exacerbates his difficulty to cover pharmaceutical and medical expenses.

The suit alleges Diamond Offshore Services Company failed to assist Gordon in any way or form after the accident.

"Plaintiff further alleges that it was and still is, the duty of said defendant/employer, to furnish him with maintenance and cure and loss of wages," it says. "Plaintiff further alleges that the defendant has unreasonably, arbitrarily, willfully, and capriciously refused to pay maintenance to him and such sums were due and owing and defendant has further unreasonably, arbitrarily, willfully, and capriciously refused to provide him medical cure."

Gordon's complaint is maintained under the Jones Seaman Act and the general U.S. maritime law.

He is represented by Houston attorney Matthew D. Shaffer. The case will go before a jury.

Judge David Garner is assigned over the litigation.

Case No. 08CV0916

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