Seaman hit by ship 'tugger' sues two captains and a company

David Yates Aug. 18, 2010, 8:10am

Claiming the "tugger" winch he was operating broke free from the vessel's deck and struck him, seaman Jesse Turner filed a Jones Act suit against the ship's owner and two captains.

Turner, along with his wife Sonja, filed their suit against Cal Dive International and Captains Allen Brough and Glen Delahoussey on Aug. 16 in Jefferson County District Court.

Court papers show Turner was a tension machine operator working aboard the vessel Rider owned by Cal Dive and captained by Brough and Delahoussey.

On Aug. 20, 2008, Turner operated the ship's "tugger" winch laying pipeline between Alabama and Mississippi when it "broke free from the deck and slammed into him, causing in injuries," court papers say.

"Unbeknownst to plaintiff, the tugger winch used to lay pipeline was improperly fixed to the deck," the suit states. "Cal Dive transported plaintiff ... past several facilities in order to take him to what they termed 'our hospital' in New Orleans."

Turner claims the defendants negligently installed the winch and that the vessel was unseaworthy.

He claims that two years after the incident he is still unable to return to work and is suing for past and future lost earnings and medical expenses.

Huntsville attorney Hans Barcus of the Cantrell, Ray & Barcus law firm is representing him.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B187-566

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