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Ex-towboat crewman wins $4.3M in Katrina lawsuit

March 14, 2012

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A former towboat crew member has won a $4.3 million judgment on claims that he suffered post-traumatic stress syndrome after being forced by his then-employer to stay on his vessel during Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. District Judge David Herndon has sided with 53-year-old Tyree Webb of Clarksville, Tenn., and ruled against TECO Barge Line Inc. of Metropolis. The two-day bench trial was last September in East St. Louis.

Tyree Webb was an engineer on the Anita M. towboat on the Mississippi River during the 2005 hurricane.

Crew members testified they feared for their lives during Katrina and called home to say goodbye.

Herndon noted the vessel wasn’t designed to protect crew members from a hurricane’s force.

The company hasn’t returned a message seeking comment.

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