A man from O’Fallon, Illinois has filed a personal injury suit alleging that he was dragged under a barge after it tipped on its side.

According to the suit Vincent Ray Deering filed in Illinois’ Madison County Circuit Court on July 24, he was employed as a pilot on the M/V Hartford Beaver, which was owned by National Maintenance and Repair, when the March 11 incident occurred.

The suit says that while Deering was in the course of his duties, he suffered severe personal injuries as he was attempting to dock the barge and its tow. The suit says there was a malfunction in the steering pump, which, combined with high water conditions and improper tying and underpowering of the vessel, resulted in the barge turning on its side in the water, causing Deering to fall in the water, and causing him to be carried by the current under the barge.

The suit claims Deering suffered “severe” and “disabling” injuries to his back, neck, spine, and shoulders because of the incident in addition to post-traumatic stress disorder and psychological injuries.

Deering also claims the injuries he suffered caused him to become sick, sore, lame, and disordered, lose wages, earning capacity, and his normal life, experience pain and suffering and disability, and incur medical expenses.

The suit alleges negligence on the part of National Maintenance and Repair for failure to provide Deering with a safe workplace and reasonably suitable equipment, assigning Deering duties it knew to be in excess of his physical capabilities, and aggravating his pre-existing medical condition.

Deering seeks damages of more than $100,000 and an amount of no less than $100 per day for maintenance, plus costs, from the two-count suit.
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