Articles Posted in Louisiana

Published on:

Louisiana-BargeA maritime construction worker has been awarded $3.3 million after a Louisiana federal court judge ruled that the worker’s head and spinal injuries were due to a captain’s negligence. The case was covered by the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).

Devin Barrios, a maritime construction worker, was transferring a portable generator from a boat to a barge when the accident occurred. Rather than secure the two vessels properly with mooring lines, the captain used engine power alone to hold the two vessels together during the transfer. The 22-year old was straddling the two vessels when they unexpectedly shifted. Barrios fell in the water, and the 150-pound generator tumbled down on top of him. He suffered a head injury with mild brain trauma that required 28 staples, and his spinal injuries required surgery. There is still the possibility of future surgery.

Jones Act and LHWCA grant unique and special rights to maritime workers. The LHWCA provides rights for land-based workers who perform work on, for, and around vessels. Employers are required to provide compensation irrespective of fault for the accidental injury or death arising out of a covered worker’s employment. Under the Jones Act, an employer is required to provide crewmembers with a reasonably safe place to work and reasonable care to prevent injuries. Negligence is the failure to do something that a reasonably prudent person would do, or not do, under similar circumstances. In this case, the reasonable and prudent option would have been to use mooring lines during the transfer of equipment. In the event of an injury, the employer is obligated to provide maintenance and cure, regardless of fault or negligence.

Published on:

Deepwater_Horizon_offshore_drilling_unit_on_fire_Coast_Guard-1One person is missing and 7 others have been injured in an oil rig platform explosion on Lake Pontchartrain near Kenner, Louisiana.

Locals reported an explosion that sounded like a “sonic boom” at approximately 7:20 p.m. on October 15th. Sector New Orleans was alerted and launched a Coast Guard Station New Orleans 29-foot Response Boat-Small boatcrew, a Station New Orleans 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew, and a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter in response to the incident. Bayou Gauche Fire Department vessels, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries vessels, and a “good Samaritan” vessel were also at the scene.

The platform acts as a storage and transfer structure for oil wells on the lake. Clovelly Oil Co., the owner of the platform, said it is also used as a natural gas platform. The fire burned overnight, but was extinguished by morning. “Our first objective from the firefighting standpoint is we’re trying to stop the oil flow if there’s any and at that point we have to cool it and let it burn off,” said Fire Chief David Tibbets of the East Bank Consolidated Fire Department.