Maritime Lawyer Sues SEVENSON ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES on Behalf of Injured Tugboat Captain

Posted in Jones Act,Maritime Accidents,Maritime Lawsuits,Tennessee Maritime News,Tug Boat Accidents on December 8, 2011

U.S.D.C. EASTERN DISTRICT, TN – Maritime lawyer, Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP, represent a 52 year old tugboat captain from Orlinda, Tennessee who was seriously injured while working as an employee of SEVENSON ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES INC.


Plaintiff was working as employee of SEVENSON ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES INC. and captain of a truckable tugboat. At that time SEVENSON was contracted by the Tennessee Valley Authority to perform the land and marine based fly ash recovery and removal as part of the Kingston Recovery Project. On February 14, 2010, Plaintiff and the truckable tug he was captain of were assigned to work on this project. Upon departure from the dock that morning, Plaintiff opened the hatch to go down and check the engine. The hatch had been modified by SEVENSON and was placed on hinges. Because of this new configuration, there was nothing to hold onto while starting to descend the ladder.  Additionally, SEVENSON had modified the stairs/ladder from an angled descent to a vertical descent. As Plaintiff attempted to descend the ladder with no handrail available, he slipped on hydraulic fluid that was on the ladder which had no non-skid. He fell to the floor hitting his head, arm, back and hip along the way.

Plaintiff is a 52 year old man who resides in Orlinda, Tennessee. Plaintiff is currently disabled due to this incident.


Due to the subject incident, Plaintiff suffered a right radial shaft fracture, right ulnar styloid fracture and right wrist fracture. On July 10 2010, Plaintiff underwent the following operative procedures: (1) right wrist arthroscopy with triangular fibrocartilage debridement; and (2) open distal ulna excision/shortening.


SEVENSON ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES INC is a New York corporation whose principle place of business is in Niagara Falls, New York


Under the  Jones Act, the employer has a non-delegable duty to provide a vessel that is reasonably safe. Including safe work places, safe equipment and safe access to and from the vessel.

“Non-delegable” means the employer cannot assign this responsibility to someone else.

The vessel owner owes a seaman, a strict and absolute duty to provide a seaworthy vessel. A seaworthy vessel is one that is reasonably fit for its intended use, it should be a safe place to work and live.

Violations of the seaworthiness duty can give rise to a claim or lawsuit by a worker who is injured due to the unseaworthiness of the vessel.

It is said that unseaworthiness usually relates to conditions that could have been avoided by the company such as improper modification to design, construction, inspection and maintenance of the condition.

The ship owner’s actual or constructive knowledge of the unseaworthy condition is not necessary to prove liability under unseaworthiness.

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