Thomas Kallies Feb. 24, 2014, 8:31pm

A deckhand is suing his employer over injuries he allegedly sustained when he slipped and fell while aboard a barge.

Thomas Novak filed his lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas on Feb. 19, naming Louisiana Marine Operators LLC as the defendant.

Novak says on Jan. 25, he was aboard the M/V Summertime, a barge owned and operated by LMO. Novak claims he was ordered to go to the barge by the captain when he stepped on ice which caused him to slip and fall.

Novak alleges LMO was negligent in failing to remove or treat the ice on the vessel with salt or sand.

Novak claims LMO should have postponed work until the vessel was made seaworthy by removing the ice or providing him with spiked shoes. According to the suit, Novak sustained injuries to his legs, back and neck when he fell and seeks to hold LMO liable for his injuries.

Novak is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.

He is being represented by attorney Matthew D. Shaffer of Schecter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris LLP in Houston.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas Cause No. 1:14-CV-00105


This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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