Seaman says abrupt reversal caused injury

Kelly Holleran Oct. 2, 2008, 5:34am

A Louisiana seaman has filed suit against Devall Towing and Boat Service, alleging he was severely injured while working on a boat.

Keith Romero, a seaman with only a few weeks experience, was working on a boat owned by Devall on April 24, 2006, when the captain threw the boat in reverse, causing Romero to be seriously injured, according to the complaint filed Sept. 30 in Jefferson District Court.

After the incident, Romero sustained severe injuries that resulted in pain, mental anguish and other medical problems, the suit states.

He claims he has also sustained severe pain, physical impairment, discomfort, mental anguish and distress, which all will continue.

Romero has suffered a loss of earnings and future earning capacity and has incurred pharmaceutical and medical costs, according to the complaint.

Devall is negligent because it failed to properly supervise its crew, failed to properly train its employees, failed to provide adequate safety equipment, failed to provide adequate medical treatment and operated the boat in an unsafe manner, the suit states.

Romero claims the company is also negligent because it failed to maintain the boat and its equipment. He claims the boat was unseaworthy.

Romero is seeking a judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of the court, prejudgment and post-judgment interests, court costs and other relief the court deems just.

Kurt B. Arnold, Michael E. Pierce and Jason A. Itkin of Arnold & Itkin in Houston will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Case No. E182-471

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