Defendants in a Jones Act claim are asserting a former ship captain does not have a right to recover damages.
As previously reported, Christopher Burnette filed suit against C.B.H. on June 15, 2011, in Jefferson County District Court, alleging the company should have supervised him when he fainted, fell and hit his head.
U.S.A. Environmental was later added as a defendant.
Court records show that on Dec. 20 both defendants filed motions for summary judgment, arguing that Burnette is not a seaman and cannot recover under the Jones Act.
On April 26, C.B.H. filed an objection to venue and special pleas, requesting that the case be dismissed.
“Defendant CBH also filed a plea to the jurisdiction and plea in abatement to this action in that the plaintiff received benefits for this alleged incident under the Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and therefore this claim is not proper … and the court lacks jurisdiction over this claim and the suit should be dismissed,” the objection states.
According to the original petition, on June 13, 2010, Burnette was employed as a captain for the defendant and serving aboard a ship when “he fainted and fell, hitting his head, back and neck.”
Burnette alleges C.B.H. Services negligently failed to supervise its crew, train employees and provide him with the proper safety equipment.
He is suing for his alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages, plus all court costs.
Jason Itkin of the Houston law firm Arnold & Itkin represents him.
C.B.H. is represented by New Orleans attorney Salvador Pusateri.
Judge Gary Sanderson, 6oth District Court, is assigned to the case.
Case No. B190-272