Seaman says he was injured while on board ship

By Kelly Holleran | Jul 20, 2013

A Vidor man says he was seriously injured while he was working on board a barge in April.

A Vidor man says he was seriously injured while he was working on board a barge in April.

Jeff Brent Berry filed a lawsuit July 3 in Jefferson County District Court against Higman Towing Company, Higman Marine Services and Higman Barge Lines.

In his complaint, Berry claims he was working as a seaman on the barge "John T. McMahan" on April 14 when he sustained permanent and disabling injuries.

Although Berry does not specify what caused his injuries, he claims he required medical treatment to cure them. However, the defendants have delayed payments toward his medical costs, the suit states.

Berry has also suffered physical pain and mental anguish, lost wages, endured an impaired ability to work and lost his ability to perform household duties, the complaint says.

Berry blames his injuries on the defendants, saying they failed to keep up-to-date equipment on their fleet of sea vessels, failed to keep the equipment in good condition, made improper repairs on their barges, failed to insure that the barges were properly loaded, failed to provide adequate and experienced personnel on the boat and failed to properly place the equipment aboard the vessel, among other negligent acts.

In his complaint, Berry seeks unspecified damages, plus attorneys’ fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, punitive damages, costs and other relief the court deems just.

W. Mark Lanier, Charles F. Herd Jr. and Lawrence P. Wilson of Houston will be representing him.

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

Case No. E194-499

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