GALVESTON - A seaman from San Jacinto County is suing his employer over a back injury he suffered while working aboard a ship more than a year ago.

Mark Hilton was employed by Hercules Offshore Inc. and assigned to one of the company's inland barges, Hercules 27, which was docked in the inland coastal waters of Louisiana.

According to the suit filed on April 12 in Galveston County Court No. 2, Hilton was pulling slips and performing other heavy labor on July 23, 2008, when he injured his back and other parts of his body. Hilton alleges he was performing the tasks without appropriate help.

"The defendant acted with flagrant and malicious disregard of the plaintiff's health and safety," the original petition states.

"The defendant was subjectively aware of the extreme risk posed by the conditions which caused the plaintiff's injury, but did nothing to rectify them."

At all relevant times, the Hercules 27 was unseaworthy, the suit states.

Consequently, Hilton seeks damages for physical pain, mental anguish, lost earnings, and medical expenses as well as a jury trial.

He is represented by Houston attorneys Kurt B. Arnold and Paul Skabranek.

Galveston County Court No. 2 Judge C.G. "Trey" Dibrell III is presiding over the case.

Cause No. 62,644

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