A deckhand is suing his employer for injuries he says he received while working aboard a ship on the upper Mississippi River.

Nathan R. Shaw filed a lawsuit June 25 in Madison County Circuit Court against Mers Inc., doing business as Economy Boat Store.

Economy Boat Store owns and operates vessels and barges that run on inland waterways including the Mississippi River, according to the complaint. Shaw says he was working for the company as a deckhand/tankerman in January when he was "severely injured while attempting to tie off a barge to a dock." A task, Shaw says, required him to use a pike pole.

Shaw contends Economy Boat Store was negligent for failing to provide him with a reasonably safe place to work or the equipment, supervision and assistance needed to safely perform the duties assigned to him as a deckhand. He also maintains the company's ships and equipment were "unseaworthy and not reasonably fit for their intended purposes."

Shaw says he received serious injuries to his shoulder and is now permanently disfigured. He is asking to be paid more than $100,000 for medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, disability, disfigurement, pain and suffering. Shaw also claims the defendant failed to meet its duty under General Maritime Law to provide its employee "with full and adequate maintenance and cure for said injuries." He is asking to be awarded an amount not less than $40 per day as compensation.

Attorney Marc W. Parker of Maryville is representing Shaw.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-890

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