While at sea, a few of Paul Bailey's co-workers were roughhousing. One tossed a string of firecrackers at him and Bailey fell, injuring his head.

He has invoked the Jones Act and filed a personal injury lawsuit against the R.L. Eldridge Construction, Inc. and its vessel the Mr. Gabby for failing to provide a safe workplace.

"R.L. 'Gabby' Eldridge founded his company in 1967, as a marine construction company to assist the need in repairing and new fabrication of private and oilfield construction alike," the company's Web site said.

Bailey's original petition was filed with the Jefferson County District Court on May 18. Court assignment is pending.

According to the suit, Bailey was deployed on the Mr. Gabby on Sept. 27, 2006. "While deployed in navigable waters, plaintiff sustained serious injuries when he fell due to an unsafe working environment and/or firecrackers being thrown at him."

"As a result of defendants' negligence, plaintiff injured his head, brain, and other parts of his body," the suit said.

The suit goes on to say the defendants are negligent for failing to properly supervise the crew, train their employees, provide adequate safety equipment and medical treatment, and operating the vessel with an inadequate crew.

Bailey is suing for physical pain and suffering in the past and future, mental anguish in the past and future, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement in the past and future, physical impairment in the past and future, and past and future medical expenses.

He is represented by Stephen Foster, attorney for the Arnold & Itkin law firm, and is requesting a trial by jury.

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