Barge inspector thrown from gangway, sues marine companies

By David Yates | Mar 15, 2013

After finishing his barge inspection, Michael Stelly claims he stepped onto a gangway which gave way and nearly tossed him into the water.

On March 4 Stelly filed suit against OilTanking of Beaumont, Amspec Services and Harley Marine in Jefferson County district Court.

According to the lawsuit, on Oct. 14, 2012, Stelly, an Ampec employee, was dispatched to inspect a barge owned by Harley Marine for the loading of cargo from OilTanking.

“After completing the inspection, Mr. Stelly began to leave the barge using the gangway,” the suit states. “Upon stepping on the gangway, it gave way sliding out from under him and to the side throwing him off onto the deck of the barge and almost in the river between the barge and deck.”

The suit accuses Harley and OilTanking of negligently failing to provide a safe working environment and failing to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.

Ampec is accused of engaging in fraudulent statements in regards to his worker’s compensation claim and terminating him without filing the claim when representing it would.

The plaintiff is suing for his alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment and lost wages, plus all court costs.

Beaumont attorney David Bernsen represents him.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. E194-114

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