There is no question that working on a ship is dangerous. Ropes that contain thousands of pounds of pressure, heavy equipment that needs to be moved, slippery decks, narrow stairwells and deep tanks all pose risks of injury to those who work aboard. While some injuries received on a ship may be slight, like a sprained wrist or a bruised shoulder, others can leave men and women in New York unable to return to work and therefore support themselves and their families.
One seaman is asking a district court to award him more than $10 million to cover the medical costs, lost wages and other damages that resulted of a deck accident. The man claims that his accident was due to a slip-and-fall hazard that existed on the ship, poor maintenance of the same vessel, and a crew that was not properly instructed or trained. Three companies are named in the suit - Bertucci Marine LLC, Bertucci Contracting Co. LLC and Crosby Tugs LLC.
The man claims that his foot and part of his lower leg had to be amputated after the foot was crushed in an accident. There were no specifics provided about the initial event so it is unknown if an object was being moved and the crewmembers working with him pushed it accidently over his foot, or if something fell on it from above. What is known, is that the man states he is greatly embarrassed over the loss of his limb, has lost function of that limb, and suffers with mental and physical pain from the accident.
Under the Jones Act, those working on a vessel have the right to seek maintenance and cure benefits, and other damages. An attorney can help them understand what their options are.
Source: Louisiana Record, "Seaman seeks $10 million in damages from three companies after injury on vessel," Michael Abella, Nov. 30, 2016