Suit dismissed for seaman who hurt his back while moving ladder

By David Yates | Jan 3, 2008

Atlantic Horizon

While working aboard a ship, Carlos Guzman, a Port Arthur resident, injured his back while moving a ladder. He sued his employer and the ship's owner under the Jones Act.

Guzman's personal injury lawsuit against CBH Services Inc. and Horizon Offshore Contractors Inc. was filed in Jefferson County District Court on Oct. 22, 2007. The case was assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District.

A few months later, on Dec. 6, Judge Sanderson approved the plaintiff's petition for nonsuit.

According to the lawsuit, on May 8, Guzman was assigned by his employer CBH to work as a welder on "The Atlantic," a vessel owned by Horizon.

"At the time of the incident, plaintiff was required to move a metal ladder that was too heavy for him, which effort severely injured his back," the plaintiff's original petition states.

Guzman says the incident caused him to sustain serious and permanent injuries including a herniated disc in the lumbar spine. The original petition states that Guzman sought medical treatment shortly after the incident and continues to be under the care of medical professionals.

Under the Jones Act, Guzman alleged that the defendants were negligent for failing to provide him with a safe place to work; failing to provide reasonably safe tools, appliances and equipment; failing to provide adequate supervisory personnel and adequate number of employees; failing to adequately train and failing to provide proper lifting equipment.

In addition, he also alleged that the vessel was unseaworthy, which contributed to his injuries and damages.

Guzman further alleges that CBH willfully and arbitrarily cut off his maintenance and cure benefits, entitling him to additional medical expenses, emotional stress and mental anguish and attorney fees.

Daniel Packard of Packard, Packard & Lapray in Beaumont is representing Guzman.

Case No. B180-564

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