A deckhand suing his employer for injuries allegedly received on the job is denying the affirmative defenses asserted by defendant Mers, Inc., doing business as Economy Boat Store.

Nathan R. Shaw filed suit June 25 in Madison County Circuit Court, saying he was working for the company as a deckhand/tankerman in January when he was "severely injured."

But according to the company which answered the lawsuit on Aug. 8, Shaw's job assignment was as a senior laborer and land-based worker, who occasionally helped aboard a vessel on the upper Mississippi River.

Mers also claims that if the plaintiff suffered any injuries, the injuries were caused by his own negligence in failing to exercise care for his own safety and failing to exercise his job duties carefully.

Mers also claims that Shaw's remedies for his alleged injuries are benefits under state or federal workers' compensation statutes, which he received until he erroneously alleged he was a seaman. The company paid directly or indirectly for Shaw's medical treatment, including surgery, even after his erroneous allegations that he was a seaman, according to Mers.

The defendant denies the plaintiff had any rights or status under the general maritime laws of the U.S., including the warranty of seaworthiness, a defense document states.

Shaw contends the company was negligent for failing to provide him with a reasonably safe place to work or the equipment, supervision and assistance needed to safely perform duties assigned to him as a deckhand. Shaw says he received serious injuries to his shoulder and is now permanently disfigured.

He is asking to be paid more than $50,000 in damages.

Robert Nienhuis of Goldstein and Price in St. Louis represents the defendant.

Attorney Marc W. Parker of Maryville is representing Shaw.

The case is assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge.

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

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