Beaumont man says fall on barge left him disabled

By Andrea Dearden | Sep 30, 2014

A Beaumont man is suing a Houston company alleging he is disabled after slipping and falling while moving product between its barges. 

Eric Mayes filed a lawsuit against Enterprise Marine Services, of Houma, La., on Aug. 20 in Jefferson County District Court.  The alleged incident happened Sept. 12, 2013 at the Sun Oil dock in Nederland. According to the complaint, Mayes was working for AccuTrans Inc. as a tanker man responsible for connecting hoses between barges for loading and unloading. He alleges he was working on a barge owned by Enterprise Marine and attempting to move product through a hose when he slipped and fell between the spill rail and hose. Mayes says he tried to pull the foot out but his other foot slipped, causing him to be "thrown into the timber head, which hit his knee." 

Mayes alleges he sustained severe, permanent and crippling injuries and is disabled from returning to his job. He says he is "disqualified from doing any sort of physical work that would require use of his left knee." Mayes was 40 at the time of the accident, earning $80,000 a year as a tanker man. 

Mayes accuses Enterprise Marine of negligence for allegedly failing to keep the barge decks clean and free of slippery petroleum-based products, failing to keep a crane normally used to move hoses in working condition and failing to provide as safe job site. He says the company violated the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act and is, therefore, liable for his injuries. 

Mayes seeks an unspecified amount in damages for lost earnings, medical expenses, physical impairment, pain, suffering and mental anguish. Attorney Steven C. Barkley, of Beaumont, represents him. 

Jefferson County District Court case number: D196-030

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at Jefferson County District Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it represents only one side of the story.

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