Jones Act suit blames engine room noise for man's hearing loss

David Yates Jun. 16, 2009, 8:27am

An Orange County man is suing his former employer, alleging that in the one year he worked for Trico Marine Assets in the late 1990s he suffered a "decrease in hearing."

Steven Jennings filed the suit May 28 in Orange County District Court.

Court papers show that from 1997 to 1998, Jennings worked for TMA as a seaman and served aboard several of the company's vessels.

"Plaintiff has suffered a decrease in hearing as a result of repetitious exposure to loud engine room noises," the suit states. "The severe and permanent hearing loss injuries suffered by plaintiff were negligently caused by the defendant."

The suit accuses TMA of failing to provide a seaworthy vessel -- a requirement to sue under the Jones Act -- and of not "properly instructing" him how to "use hearing loss prevention equipment."

The suit continues by saying Jennings now must wear a hearing aid.

He is suing for past and future mental anguish, impairment, lost earnings and pain.

The plaintiff is represented by Provost Umphrey attorney Jane Leger.

Judge Dennis Powell, 163rd Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B090307-c

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