John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 6, 2013, 2:56pm

GALVESTON - An Alabama man has filed a lawsuit against his employer following two alleged instances in which he hurt his back.

Montevallo, Ala., resident Michael J. Bass is suing Rowan Companies, Inc., claiming the defendant ordered him to perform tasks without assistance.

Court documents were filed Nov. 5 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas.

Bass was assigned to the respondent's Rowan Mississippi on which he says he spent more than 75 percent of his time as part of the crew.

The first incident in which his back sustained injuries was on or about Dec. 10, 11, or 12, 2010, when the ship was located at Main Pass in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the suit.

It shows the plaintiff was hurt when he was ordered to uncoil a braided cable crane bowline that was rolled up.

Some four months later, the respondent placed Bass on another of its ships, the Joe Douglas.

As was with the Rowan Mississippi, the claimant spent more than 75% of his time as part of its crew.

The plaintiff asserts he was told to pick up and carry a heavy shackle for approximately 20 feet, adding the job caused him to "aggravate his lower back injury of December 2010."

He blames the defendant for:

  • Failing to provide adequate mechanical assistance to perform the task in question; and

  • Failing to provide adequate and experienced manpower to perform the task in question.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Matthew D. Shaffer of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. in Houston is representing Bass.

Case No. 3:13-CV-409

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