Lobsterman Jody LeBlanc said he had been mostly awake for two days during a cocaine-frenzied and alcohol-soaked binge, when a wave knocked him over and caused injuries so severe the boat was forced to make a 15-hour journey to shore so he could receive medical attention.
LaBlanc made those statements in a federal lawsuit that says his injuries are permanent and caused by a reckless culture of drug and alcohol abuse aboard the lobster boat, that “rent” was collected from the crew to buy drugs and booze, and its consumption was “encouraged,” according to Seacoast Online.
Being litigated in U.S. District Court of New Hampshire, LeBlanc’s suit was filed by Maine attorney Alicia Curtis, who did not respond to a request seeking comment or an interview with her client.
The suit is filed against Newington, N.H.-based Little Bay Lobster and the fishing boat Jacqueline Robin owned by Todd Ellis, a Little Bay Lobster supervisor.
Reached at Little Bay Lobster last week, Ellis told the newspaper: “I don’t know anything about” the suit or allegations.
The civil suit was first filed in Maine’s federal court — minus drug and alcohol allegation— then dismissed as being filed in the wrong jurisdiction.
In the newly filed New Hampshire suit, LeBlanc claims he was a crew member aboard the fishing boat when it left Dover on March 17, 2017, under the command of Capt. Darren McDaniels, who could not be reached for comment.
The day prior, his lawsuit alleges, “Captain McDaniels collected money from the crew, which he referred to as ‘rent money,’ for the express purposes of purchasing drugs andalcohol for the voyage.”
“Between the morning of March 17 until the morning hours of March 19, 2017, Captain McDaniels provided illicit drugs (including, but not limited to cocaine) and alcohol to crew members aboard the vessel, and encouraged the crew to partake in the drugs and alcohol and to stay awake almost continuously from the morning of March 17 until the morning of March 19,” the suit said.
McDaniels is said to have positioned the boat in a trench, “with sizable waves hitting the boat regularly,” while LeBlanc was picking up a trap and a wave crashed portside onto the boat and hit LeBlanc. LeBlanc said the impact “violently” twisted his body, knocked him off his feet and caused unspecified injuries that necessitated the 15-hour trip back to shore.