Injury suit against Enterprise Marine transferred to federal court

David Yates Nov. 17, 2014, 2:36pm

Enterprise Marine Services, a Houston-based company, has successfully removed a personal injury lawsuit against it filed in Beaumont to federal court.

As previously reported, plaintiff Eric Mayes filed suit against Enterprise Marine on Aug. 20 in Jefferson County District Court, alleging he became disabled after slipping and falling while moving product between barges.

Court records show the claim is based on the provisions of the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.

On Oct. 15, Enterprise Marine removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division, on the grounds that federal courts have jurisdiction over maritime law cases.

According to the original complaint, the incident transpired Sept. 12, 2013 at the Sun Oil dock in Nederland. Mayes, working for AccuTrans Inc. as a tanker man, was responsible for connecting hoses between barges for loading and unloading.

While working on a barge owned by Enterprise Marine and attempting to move product through a hose, he slipped and fell between the spill rail and hose.

In his suit, Mayes says he tried to pull the foot out but his other foot slipped, causing him to be “thrown into the timber head, which hit his knee.”

He alleges he sustained severe, permanent and crippling injuries and is disabled from returning to his job. Mayes was 40 at the time of the accident, earning $80,000 a year as a tanker man.

The suit accuses Enterprise Marine of negligence for allegedly failing to keep the barge decks clean and free of slippery petroleum-based products, failing to keep a crane normally used to move hoses in working condition and failing to provide as safe job site.

Attorney Steven C. Barkley, of Beaumont, represents Mayes.

Houston attorney Kenneth Tribuch of PREIS, PLC represents Enterprise Marine.

Jefferson County District Court case No. D196-030

Federal case No. 1:14-cv-00529

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