Crew member files lawsuit against Vane Line Bunkering

Plaintiff alleges that 'negligence, carelessness and recklessness' of Vane Line resulted in his injury.



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Updated on 17 May 2018 13:02 GMT

A lawsuit has been filed at New York Supreme Court, Ulster County, by a crew member against US transportation firm Vane Line Bunkering Inc. and its parent business The Vane Brothers Company, in addition to Dann Ocean Towing Inc. and the vessels DBL-25 and Ruby M.

Plaintiff Frank Whittaker claims that on April 5, 2015, he sustained bodily injuries, damages and other losses whilst working aboard the tanker barge DBL-25, which, he alleges, was "due to the negligence, carelessness and recklessness" of defendants Vane Line Bunkering and/or Vane Brothers.

Then, on March 19, 2016, Whittaker maintains that he "sustained continuing, enhanced and/or additional bodily injuries due to the negligence, carelessness and recklessness" of Vane Line Bunkering and/or Vane Brothers.

The plaintiff provides a long list of alleged failures in his claim, including that the defendant:

- Failed and neglected to maintain and to provide a safe and seaworthy vessel;

- Failed and neglected to man or equip the DBL-25 with sufficient crew to assist the plaintiff in his tasks aboard the DBL-25 while making up to the tugboat Ruby M;

- Failed and neglected to safely coordinate the work involving the DBL-25 and Ruby M;

- Failed and neglected to position or move the DBL-25 and/or the Ruby M so as to minimize and avoid injury;

- Failed and neglected to follow good and accepted safe marine, maritime and navigation practices with regard to the plaintiff, his job duties and both vessels - the DBL-25 and Ruby M;

- Failed and neglected to follow applicable company safety rules and other rules applicable to the vessels;

- Failed and neglected to equip the Ruby M with the adequate and safe towing gear and other equipment;

- Failed and neglected to continuously supervise the said vessels and the work performed by the plaintiff;

- Failed and neglected to provide a safe and secure workplace for the plaintiff;

- Failed and neglected to provide the plaintiff with a seaworthy and safe vessel upon which to work;

- Failed and neglected to adequately train the plaintiff to safely perform the work that led to his injury.

Dann Ocean Towing denies any wrongdoing. The case continues.

Bunker Index reported last year that Vane Line Bunkering was involved in another New York lawsuit over a barge captain who suffered a stroke.