Worker blames fall on accumulation of oil on ship's deck

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Oct 10, 2013

GALVESTON - Claiming he suffered injuries from slipping on a ship he was assigned to, Harris County resident Andrew F. Crist III seeks damages.

Crist is suing Solstad Shipping AS, Solstad Offshore ASA and Solstad Rederi AS in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas.

The lawsuit filed Oct. 4 shows that the plaintiff, employed as a sub-engineer, informed the defendants about an unsafe condition in the area of the launch and recovery system for the subsea remotely operated vehicle on the CSV Normand Flower.

"One one side of the LARS there was plastic grating applied on top of the vessel's deck, which allowed water, oil and other residue to fall below the walking surface of said grating," the original petition says.

"On the other side of the LARS there was no such grating, just the metal deck of the vessel, which allowed water, oil and other residue to collect on the walking surface."

It adds the complainant told the respondents "the area that lacked the plastic grating was unreasonably dangerous due to the accumulation of oil on the deck" to which the latter "knowingly" disregarded.

Solstad instructed Crist to wash around the LARS on Oct. 17, 2011.

"In the process of washing around the LARS, he slipped and fell on the oil that had accumulated on the metal decking, as he was attempting to powerwash the area as instructed," the suit says.

"Both of the plaintiff's feet slipped out from under him, and he landed with his back striking a metal saw horse that was sitting atop the LARS."

Attorney Francis I. Spagnoletti of Spagnoletti & Co. in Houston is presiding over the litigation.

Case No. 3:13-CV-352

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