Worker claims he fell because ship lacked railings

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 4, 2011, 9:00am

GALVESTON - Terry Scott Lowe blames an on-the-job fall on his employer, a lawsuit filed Oct. 25 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas says.

Recent court documents show Lowe worked for TETRA Applied Technologies LLC and TETRA Technologies Inc. as a floorhand and a member of one of their vessels when he fell off a metal grating during vessel operations on April 12.

Lowe, a Mississippi resident, alleges he was instructed to run a hose from the wellhead being serviced by the rig to mud pits and to control a valve at the direction of the driller while fluid was bled off the wellhead.

According to the complaint, Lowe claims he had to stand on a metal grate that had no railing around it in order to follow the hand signals of the driller and the derrick hand.

"Due to the absence of a railing, the plaintiff fell off the metal grating, bounced off a nearby piling and landing on metal grating located approximately four feet below the grating from which he fell, causing him to sustain severe and disabling personal injuries due to the negligence of TETRA and the unseaworthiness of the vessel," the original petition says.

The suit faults the defendants for failing to maintain the vessel and its appurtenances and equipment in a safe and reasonable state of repair, failing to take reasonable precautions for the plaintiff's safety, failing to provide employees with a reasonably safe place to work and failing to warn the plaintiff of known and existing hazards.

Consequently, Lowe seeks unspecified monetary damages.

He is represented by Spagnoletti & Co.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt.

Case No. 3:11-cv-486

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