Seaman was entitled to recover damages due to a vessel owner’s negligence under the Jones Act because owner was negligent in its supervision and training of seaman with respect to the removal of nuts and bolts, and the owner’s negligence in its training of and in its instructions and orders to seaman played a part in producing THE injury.
BRAD NELTON versus CENAC TOWING CO., LLC
CIVIL ACTION NO. 10-373
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7129
January 25, 2011, Filed
Plaintiff seaman filed suit against defendant vessel owner, asserting claims under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C.S. § 30104, and under general maritime law. The seaman asserted that the owner was negligent in its failure to adequately supervise and train the crew. The seaman also alleged that the vessel was unseaworthy, and he asserted his right to maintenance and cure. The owner asserted a counterclaim seeking to recover maintenance and cure payments.
The court found that the owner was negligent in its supervision and training of the seaman with respect to the removal of nuts and bolts because, beyond a general directive, the owner undertook no effort to ensure that its employees were taught to remove nuts and bolts without using the interlocking double-wrenching technique. The owner was negligent in the instruction given by an employee to the seaman that he help remove the nuts and bolts from the header blind while the employee was in the drip pan. The owner’s negligence in its training of and in its instructions and orders to the seaman played a part in producing the seaman’s injury. The vessel was unseaworthy because the crew of the vessel was trained to use an unsafe method of work. The seaman was contributorily negligent. Disability benefits arose from a collateral source. The seaman was entitled to maintenance and cure because he was injured while working onboard the vessel. The seaman had not forfeited his right to maintenance and cure. An award of prejudgment interest on all past damages was appropriate. Finally, the seaman was entitled to punitive damages and attorney’s fees for the willful denial of cure payments.
The seaman was entitled to (1) recover damages due to the owner’s negligence and the unseaworthiness of the vessel, (2) payment for maintenance and cure, (3) punitive damages and attorney’s fees for the willful denial of cure payments, (5) prejudgment interest on the past losses, and (6) postjudgment interest. Judgment with respect to the counterclaim was to be entered in favor of the seaman. The counterclaim was dismissed with prejudice.