US-Klage Smith v. British Petroleum – oder auch: „verrückte Welt“

25.Mai 2010.  Die schreckliche Explosion der BP Bohrplattform Deep Horizon mit vielen Toten Arbeitern und die unaufhaltsame Naturkatastrophe treibt Blüten, denn nun scheint es so, also ob auch Trittbrettfahrer die Gunst der Stunde nutzen wollten, etwas für sich herauszuschlagen, siehe nur die Klage eines für die Ausbringung von Sicherungsmassnahmen gegen die nahende Ölpest angeheuerten Arbeiters, der am dritten Tage seiner Tätigkeit über Bord ging, dann gekündigt wurde und nun schon einmal vorsorglich selbst entworfene Klage eingereicht hat (auch auf punitive damages) , obwohl er selbst vorträgt: „To this day I have no idea the extent of my injuries or what dangers the exposure to the water holds in store for me.“ Klagantrag: Schadensersatz mindesten 1.000.000 USD!  Na denn, welcome in the USA. Hinzuweisen ist noch auf den Umstand, dass der Kläger Antrag auf quasi Prozesskostenhilfe stellt, weil er sich die 350 USD Filing Fee für das Gericht nicht leisten kann.  Er ist anwaltlich nicht vertreten. Offensichtlich hat sich nicht einmal ein Anwalt finden lassen, der den Fall auf Erfolgsbasis annimmt.

Klageschrift und „Prozesskostenhilfeantrag“ : Smith v BP; MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis

Hier Auszug aus seinem Sachvortrag – man muss sich schon wundern, was für Klagen in den USA überhaupt zu Gericht gebracht werden a la „versuchen kann man es allemal“

From Monday, the 1Oth of May,2}I},until Wednesday, the l2thof May 2010,I
was employed by British Petroleum (BP) and Moran Environmental (Moran) solely
as a full time Seaman/Boat Hand3. The boats that I was assigned to transported our
crew and supplies in and around the Orange Beach area for the purpose of installing,
inspecting and maintaining the Floating Boom (Boom) tasked to protect the
areas of Orange Beach from the oil escaping at MS 252. We did, on two occasions;
venture out into the Gulf of Mexico by traversing Perdido Pass/Inlet for the
pu{pose of inspecting and servicing the Boom. I was spending I00% of my work
time on one or the other of these boatsa: at the direction of BP and Moran. These
boats spent I00% of their time on the water. During the three days that I worked
for the defendants the boats that I worked on were stored on trailers while I was not
working on them: they were launched every morning by myself and the other crew
members and placed back onto the trailers every evening by myself and the other
crew members as part of our regular duties. My duties on the vessel were, but not
limited to, cleaning the vessel, launching and removing the vessel, tying the vessel
up to the docks and to other vessels at rest, teaching the other hands general seamanship,
holding our vessel away from other vessels and obstacles, stocking provisions
for our joumeys, making up and breaking down the Boom, deploying the
‚ „In order to be a seaman, an individual (among other things) omust have a connection to a vessel in navigation (or
to an identifiable group of such vessels) that is substantial in terms of both its duration and its nature.‘ Harbor Tug
andBargeCo. v. Papai, ll7 S.Ct. 1535, 1540 (1997) (quoting Chandris,Inc. v. Latsis, 115 S.Ct.2172,2179
(1995) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted)).“ Fields v. Pool Offshore, 182 F.3d 353 (5’n Cir 1999).
a A vessel is „every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a
means of transportation on water.“ I U.S.C. Section 3. In general, the „greater the structure’s resemblance to conventional seafaring craft, the greater the odds of securing vessel status“ . Gremillionv. Gulf Coast Catering Co. , 904
F.2d290,293 (sth Cir. 1990). Fields v. PoolOffshore, 182 F.3d 353 (5th Cir 1999).
anchors that held the Boom in place, inspecting the Boom and on one occasion,
deploying the anchor. At no time during my term of employment did I ever do any
other form of work or have any other work station. At the time of the accident the
boat was not moored or anchored or in any way converted to a platforms.
BP/Moran provided all meals, water, ice and drinks while I was at work.
BPAvIoran provided transportation to the boats,
On Wednesday, the lZth of May 2010, at approximately 4:15 pm I was working
with the other boat hand and the captain of the boat, onboard the „Jet Boat“ (Jet),
pulling on a connecting line between the Boom and the locating anchor for the
Boom. This line was submerged and the anchor was imbedded into the sea bed. I
was instructed to kneel down on the deck of the boat and rest my chest and abdomen
on the rail while I reached over the side of the boat to grasp the anchor line.
The rail of the boat was smooth and wet. My work vest/life jacket was new, slick
and wet. The Jet was not anchored and was being buffeted by the wakes of other
boats and the rough waters of Perdido Inlet. The boat tipped to our side and my
work vest started slipping on the wet railing. I released the anchor line but that did
not stop me from sliding over the side of the boat and into the water.
5 „In particular, we have focused on three factors when trying to determine whether a structure is a work platform
beyond the realm of the Jones Act. First, we ask whether the structure was constructed to serve primarily as a work
platform. Second, we look to whether or not the structure was moored or otherwise secured at the time of the accident.
Lastly, we attempt to ascertain whether the transportation function of the structure went beyond theoretical
mobilityandoccasional incidental movement. See, Burchettv. Cargill,lnc.,48F.3d,l73,176(sthCir. 1995).’1
Fields v. Pool Offshore, 182 F.3d 353 (5th Cir 1999).
This method of retrieving the anchors was the method set out by the boat’s captain
and it was the method that we had employed during the previous seven anchor
lifts. We had an onsite Safety Manager from BP/Moran to supervise these anchor
lifts. The boat operator is the equivalent of a foreman.
The BP Safety personnel were on the scene and observed me wet from head to
foot and nothing was said. My foreman did not make out an accident report. No
one asked me if I was hurt or needed any attention.
To this day I have no idea the extent of my injuries or what dangers the exposure
to the water holds in store for me.
That night at 9 pm; quitting time for our 15 hour days; I was told that I was fired
because of the accident. The next day I was not allowed any more work and the
next three days revealed that I was blacklisted and not allowed to work anywhere.
Despite having a great deal of experience and the proper credentials I have not
worked one day since.

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