Punitive damages sought in Jones Act case

Steve Gonzalez Feb. 21, 2006, 10:43am

A man who claims he fell 15 feet from a stack of cover tops located at the end of a barge filed a Jones Act case in Madison County Circuit Court Feb. 17.

David Hodges alleges his employer, Hoosier Marine, failed to provide him with a safe place to work.

According to the complaint, David Hodges was a deckhand on the M/V John McKenney which was afloat on the Illinois River near Lamont, Ill. when the fall allegedly took place on Feb. 21, 2003.

Hodges claims that Hoosier failed to warn him of the dangers in the area he was assigned to work when they knew, or should have known of the dangers that existed.

He also claims that Hoosier failed to provide him with adequate assistance, failed to supervise his work, failed to inspect the vessel and barge to see that it was not defective and failed to provide him with adequate equipment to safely perform the tasks assigned to him.

According to Hodges, he sustained extensive injuries to his head, body and trunk, lost wages and continues to lose wages, experiences pain and suffering and had to spend money for medical care.

Hodges is seeking damages in excess of $200,000 plus all costs of the suit.

Hodges also is seeking maintenance and cure in the amount of $150 per day claiming he is not completely healed of his injuries and alleges that Hoosier has refused to meet its duty under General Maritime Law to provide him with full and adequate maintenance and cure for his injuries.

In addition to the compensatory damages, Hodges also is seeking punitive damages in excess of $100,000 alleging Hoosier has refused to pay maintenance and cure while he recovers from his injuries.

"Hoosier's refusal is in contravention of Hodges' established maritime rights," the complaint states.

Hodges is represented by Theodore Diaz of East Alton. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

06 L 168

More News