Discovery proceeding in suit alleging barge inspector thrown from gangway

By David Yates | Sep 24, 2013

Discovery is proceeding in litigation brought by Michael Stelly, who claims he stepped onto a gangway that gave way and nearly tossed him into the water after finishing his barge inspection.

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

Court records show that on June 19 Amspec filed a certificate of discovery, showing it had served the plaintiff with its objections and answers to his first set of interrogatories and request for production and response to request for disclosure.

The lawsuit alleges that 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.

Stelly 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.

Houston attorney David Barron represents Amspec.

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

Case No. E194-114

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