West Virginia Record

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Seaman sues employer, avowing negligence in work injury

By The West Virginia Record | Jul 17, 2015

Marine vessel dusk

POINT PLEASANT—A Mason County citizen filed a lawsuit against Ohio- and Missouri-based corporations claiming negligence in a 2013 work injury with lasting repercussions.

Jacob W. Wroten of Point Pleasant sued McGinnis Inc. and AEP River Operations LLC, both doing business in West Virginia, in Mason Circuit Court on June 12, asserting Jones Act negligence in October 2013.

According to the filing, Wroten was a McGinnis employee assigned to various marine vessels navigating in the Ohio River and in Mason County as a deckhand and crewman. The suit states that on or about Oct. 30, 2013, Wroten was ordered to enter a hopper barge to sweep and shovel coal.

The complaint states that when the plaintiff’s broom unexpectedly caught on a “significant yet obscured-by-coal defect in the steel floor," he sustained a shoulder injury. Additionally, Wroten and a co-worker allegedly were made to work while a clamshell grab bucket unloader was operating in their area, purportedly against company safety rules and policy.

The suit states that when the plaintiff reported his injury to the captain or pilot, he was ordered to keep working. He later underwent shoulder surgery and suffered and sought treatment for depression due to lost earning capacity.

Wroten contends that his employer was in violation of maritime law and safety rules. He claims pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, impairment and medical expenses.

The seaman seeks maintenance and cure, compensatory and punitive damages, interest, attorneys’ fees, and costs.

He is represented by Frederick Goldsmith and E. Richard Ogrodowski of Goldsmith & Ogrodowski in Pittsburgh. The case has been assigned to Judge Thomas C. Evans III.

Mason Circuit Court case number 15-C-79.

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