Welder burned on ship sues owners

Kelly Holleran Sep. 24, 2009, 9:15am

A Mexican man who says he was seriously burned after an explosion has filed suit against his employer and the owners of a boat on which he was working at the time of the incident.

Oscar Felipe Maldonado Patlan claims he was working as a welder for defendants M & M Industrial Services and Blue Water Industrial Technologies on Sept. 25, 2008, in international waters on board the Rowan Juneau, which was owned by defendants Apache Corp. and Rowan Companies, off the coast of Louisiana.

As part of his job, Patlan was required to perform metal replacement work in a tank when a "fiery explosion" occurred, according to the lawsuit filed Sept. 22 in Jefferson County District Court.

"Plaintiff and another worker were seriously burned and injured and were evacuated from the vessel and taken to Baton Rouge General Hospital Burn Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana," the suit states.

Because of the incident, Patlan suffered severe burns to his arms, legs, face, neck and head, which has resulted in pain, discomfort, distress and other medical problems, the complaint says.

In addition, Patlan claims he has sustained physical disability, pain and suffering, lost earnings, incurred medical costs and suffered physical disfigurement and physical impairment.

Patlan is seeking compensatory, actual and consequential damages, plus interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

He will be represented by Nicholas Wiseman of the Law Office of Domingo Garcia in Bellaire and by Walter J. Leger Jr. and Walter J. Leger III of Leger and Shaw in New Orleans.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D184-971.

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