Seaman claims he was sickened by exposure to oil dispersants

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Aug. 30, 2010, 5:29am

GALVESTON - An Alabama seaman alleges he was injured twice within a month while working aboard a vessel off the Louisiana coast, recent court documents say.

In a lawsuit filed Aug. 18 in Galveston County Court No. 1, Christopher Eldridge of Mobile, Ala., claims he was exposed to oil dispersants in April and was shocked by an ungrounded running compressor in May during his stint as a crew member of the M/V Skandi Neptune.

Named defendants in the suit are Eldridge's employer, Offshore Inland Marine & Oilfield Services Inc., and the M/V Skandi Neptune's operators, BP and Subsea 7 LLC.

The plaintiff argues that he and his co-workers were not prepared on April 23 to handle the petroleum chemicals which washed over the ship's deck nor provided the necessary personal protective equipment.

Defendants BP and Offshore also did not warn the seamen about any underlying health risks associated with oil exposure, the suit says.

The original petition states that Eldridge encountered harm again on the M/V Skandi Neptune on May 11 when he came into contact with the compressor and a massive electrical current passed through his body.

The plaintiff argues both incidents in question harmed his throat, lungs, internal organs, and central nervous systems, adding he requires medical monitoring.

He seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Eldridge is represented by the Lanier Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County Court No. 1 Judge Mary Nell Crapitto.

Cause No. 63,537

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