Barge worker claims poor visibility led to injuries

Kelly Holleran Jul. 21, 2010, 1:31am

A man claims he sustained knee injuries after tripping over rigging while boarding a barge.

John Peebles filed a lawsuit July 7 in Madison County Circuit Court against Bulk Service/Bulk Service of Tyler Street and Lewis and Clark Marine.

Peebles claims he worked as a deckhand for Bulk Service on Aug. 8 when the incident occurred as Peebles walked across the working deck of a barge.

Preceding Peebles' fall, the barge had been loaded with grain, which caused a large amount of grain dust to release into the air, diminishing visibility, the suit states.

"At the time that Plaintiff got on board the barge, it was dark and the lighting in the area was distorted or diminished by the grain dust put into the air by the loading process," the complaint says.

Peebles blames the diminished visibility for causing his fall. As a result of his fall, Peebles was forced to undergo surgery; to lose earnings and his earning capacity; to experience pain, suffering and anguish; and to incur medical costs.

He blames Bulk Service for causing his fall, saying it failed to provide him with a safe place to work, failed to inspect the area it required he work, failed to provide him with sufficient training and failed to provide him with adequate assistance.

He also names Lewis and Clark as a defendant because one of its employees left the rigging in the walkway, which he fell over.
In his three-count suit, Peebles seeks an unspecified judgment, plus other relief the court deems just.

Roy C. Dripps of Armbruster, Dripps, Winterscheidt and Blotevogel in Alton will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-715.

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