Injured rig worker says company had no ergonomic program to limit injuries

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Dec. 12, 2011, 6:53am

Vuk Vujasinovic

GALVESTON - Nueces County resident Juan Sandoval blames a "severe" back injury he allegedly sustained on his employer, a lawsuit filed Nov. 17 in Galveston County Court at Law No. 3 says.

Recent court documents claim Hercules Offshore Inc. "was negligent in continuously and repetitively exposing (Sandoval) to known ergonomic risk factors, and for failing to implement a comprehensive ergonomic program that would effectively limit hazardous trauma events."

Sandoval, who worked six years for the defendant as a floor hand and roustabout, claims he hurt himself on Aug. 17 while moving heavy pieces of equipment without the aid of a crane or lift aboard a rig belonging to the company.

"This continuous strain on Mr. Sandoval's body eventually resulted in his severe back injury," according to the original petition.

The suit insists the plaintiff did nothing to bring forth his reported injuries, emphasizing Hercules is to blame.

"The defendant owed to the plaintiff a duty to furnish him a safe place to work and a seaworthy vessel, and as applied to the plaintiff, the defendant failed in those respects, and such unseaworthiness of the vessel in question caused and resulted in the injuries and damages sustained by the plaintiff," it says.

Consequently, Sandoval seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

He is represented by Vujasinovic & Beckcom.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County Court at Law No. 3 Judge Christopher Dupuy.

Cause No. 66,380

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