MARCH 14, 2011 by Bill Abbott
An interesting Jones Act lawsuit ruling was recently appealed and upheld. Lavern Bonin, a deckhand for Ryan Marine Services, Inc., filed the lawsuit after suffering a shoulder injury. According to the suit, Bonin and another deckhand were ordered to retrieve a mooring line under dangerous conditions. The line was heavy and stretched tight in the rough waters. There were no guardrails or other safety equipment in place for protection. When trying to retrieve the line, Bonin’s shoulder was injured. Bonin’s Jones Act lawyers succeeded in winning the case for him.
With expertise that comes only from experience, his attorneys were able to prove negligence on the part of the boat’s captain and, ultimately, Ryan Marine Services. After Bonin was awarded damages, Ryan Marine appealed the decision. The United States Court of Appeals upheld the original ruling. They found that the captain of the boat was negligent. He had his deckhands working in unsafe conditions. Instead of being allowed to cut the heavy, tight line, the hands were ordered to retrieve it, resulting in the injury. The appellate courts also determined that the damages awarded to Bonin were fair.
It is no surprise that the ruling was appealed and upheld. The Jones Act lawyers on this case did an impeccable job of providing witness testimony from the second deckhand. The Jones Act lawyers also established Bonin’s credibility pertaining to his own testimony. Since Bonin has 40 years of seaman experience under his belt, it was clear to the courts that he was an expert in his field.
This case is one of many cases that prove the importance of hiring experienced Jones Act lawyers. When dealing with personal injuries on the sea, Jones Act lawyers that know and understand the law are paramount to victory. Lavern Bonin and countless other injured seamen understand the value of retaining only the best Jones Act lawyers for their representation.