Seaman, Jones Act, Maritime & Cal Dive


The Seaman, Jones Act, Maritime & Cal Dive case is about an alleged seaman that filed a lawsuit under the Jones Act.  The case, in the United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana ruled on a summary judgment (relating to the type of damage as a seaman).  

A brief summary of the Seaman, Jones Act, Maritime & Cal Dive case includes:

  • Kenneth H. Bratkowski was employed as a diver by Cal Dive International, Inc. and assigned to the DSV CAL DIVER I, which was owned and operated by Cal Dive International, Inc.
  • On August 6, 2012, Mr. Bratkowski was on a routine dive to re-route Allison Pipeline. He and his dive partner, Dan Jackson, were returning to the work area in a two-man Diving Bell, which was lowered to the seabed by the winch system on the DSV CAL DIVER I. Once at the required depth, the pressure in the bell was equalized, and Mr. Bratkowski prepared to begin the dive.
  • To exit the bell, Mr. Bratkowski was required to lift the lower hatch cover in the dive bell. Mr. Bratkowski bent over to reach down and grab the handle of the hatch cover; as he began to lift it upwards, he says he felt a twinge and heard a pop from his back. He completed the lift with Mr. Jackson’s help and, as they latched the hatch cover in place, Mr. Bratkowski then felt a pain in his lower back.
  • As a result of the accident, Mr. Bratkowski, who was then 39 years old, alleges that he suffered a severe spinal injury causing him to be permanently and totally disabled.On January 30, 2015, Mr. Bratkowski sued Cal Dive International, Inc., seeking to recover under the Jones Act for negligence, as well as under general maritime law for Cal Dive’s unseaworthy vessel, and, finally, for maintenance and cure. In the personal injury case, Civil Action Number 15-294, Mr. Bratkowski seeks $15,000,000 in damages due to the severity of his injuries.
  • In particular, he claims that he is required to lie down every hour for approximately 15 minutes to relieve pain; he has lost full function of his right leg; he must stay medicated to help alleviate his pain; he experiences constant tingling in his foot and radiating pain through the entirety of his leg if his foot is touched.
  • The Court ruled: Granted for Defendants and Denied for Plaintiff
  • For more on the Seaman, Jones Act, Maritime & Cal Dive case, please follow this link: Seaman and Cal Dive – May 18, 2016. 

CASE WATCH℠ is a compilation of Jones Act cases nationwide.

Case Watch is provided for the seaman and others as a source of information about various situations in which seaman have been injured while performing their jobs aboard a vessel, ship, platform etc.  The seaman have usually sought remedies (unseaworthiness and maintenance and cure) under general maritime law and the Jones Act.

We hope that it is both helpful and informative.


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If you have been injured and/or have been diagnosed with a serious disease (e.g., leukemia, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, mesothelioma) while working as a seaman, and need a Jones act and maritime lawyer to help you file a Jones Act lawsuit, please contact our office at 1.800.672.4916.