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Armstrong v. Offshore Specialty Fabricators

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

April 17, 2017

CHARLES ARMSTRONG III
v.
OFFSHORE SPECIALTY FABRICATORS ET AL.

         SECTION: “H” (2)

          FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

          JANE TRICHE MILAZZO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Plaintiffs claim for maintenance and cure. Plaintiff Charles Armstrong III alleges that he was injured while employed by Defendant Offshore Specialty Fabricators (“OSF”) as a crewmember aboard the D/B WILLIAM KALLOP. Plaintiff has brought claims for unseaworthiness, Jones Act negligence, maintenance and cure, and spoliation of evidence. On September 10, 2016, Plaintiff moved this Court to hold a hearing on his maintenance and cure claim, which this Court granted. A hearing was held on January 13, 2017. Plaintiff seeks a finding that he is entitled to an increase in maintenance, cure for his shoulder and neck injury, and damages for Defendant's arbitrary and capricious failure to pay. Having considered the evidence admitted at the hearing and the arguments of counsel, this Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law on Plaintiff's maintenance and cure claim. To the extent a finding of fact constitutes a conclusion of law, and vice versa, the Court adopts it as such.

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         1. At all material times, Armstrong was a seaman and a member of the crew of the D/B WILLIAM KALLOP.

         2. At all material times, Armstrong was employed by OSF as a mechanic.

         3. In late April or early May of 2015, Armstrong injured his wrist while refueling a generator using a fuel hose aboard the D/B WILLIAM KALLOP when the fuel hose “caught a kink” and twisted around in his hands.

         4. At some time after the injury, Armstrong visited the medics on the vessel for anti-inflammatories.

         5. Armstrong initially believed the injury was a minor strain or pull.

         6. There were no witnesses to the accident or resulting injury.

         7. Armstrong completed the remainder of his hitch despite the alleged injury.

         8. No accident report was completed regarding the injury and Armstrong signed a release stating that he had not been injured aboard the vessel prior to finishing his hitch.

         9. On or about May 20, Armstrong reinjured his wrist when he attempted to throw a bag of his belongings off of his personal boat as he was preparing to leave for his next hitch with OSF.

         10. Prior to the re-injury, Armstrong had not seen a doctor and was preparing to ...


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