Barge worker claims arm mangled by large metal ball

By Kelly Holleran | Jan 26, 2010

A man claims his right arm became mangled after a large metal ball dropped unexpectedly from a crane.

Shannon L. Blair filed a lawsuit Jan. 21 in Madison County Circuit Court against National Maintenance and Repair Inc.

Blair claims he belonged to the crew of the Barge BB-1 and worked for National Maintenance and Repair at its shipyard on the upper Mississippi River in Hartford when the incident occurred.

"On or about July 20, 2009, during the course of his duties assisting the crane operator on board Barge BB-1, plaintiff, Shannon L. Blair's, right arm was mangled when a large metal ball attached to a crane fell suddenly and struck his arm," the suit states.

According to the complaint, Blair suffered permanent injuries to his right hand, wrist, forearm and elbow and lost wages because of the incident. In addition, he suffered a loss of earning capacity, experienced physical pain and mental suffering, incurred medical costs and sustained a disability, the complaint says.

While National Maintenance and Repair has paid some damages to Blair, he says he should receive at least $45 per day from the date of the accident until he reaches his maximum medical cure.

Blair blames National Maintenance and Repair for his injuries, saying the company negligently failed to provide him with adequate training so he could safely perform his duties, failed to inspect the work area for hazards, failed to provide Blair with safe tools and equipment, adequate supervision and adequate assistance.

In addition, he says the Barge BB-1 was unseaworthy because the crane operator was not properly trained, the crane was not properly inspected and the crane had a propensity to drop the ball.

In his two-count complaint, Blair seeks an unspecified judgment, plus costs and other relief the court deems just. He also seeks medical costs he incurred with a credit to National Maintenance and Repair for costs it already paid.

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

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-52.

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