APRIL 21, 2011 by Bill Abbott

When dealing with Jones Act cases, not all claims involve a personal injury suffered on the job.  Some claims result from illnesses that were left untreated and resulted in disability or death.  For instance, one Louisiana seaman was the recipient of a large settlement for a Jones Act claim.  The situation started when the seaman was working on a rig and got sick.  He had symptoms much like the flu and severe headaches.  This lasted for several days and he was not taken ashore for medical care.

When the seaman was finally taken off the rig and to a hospital, he was diagnosed with a serious condition.  He had a large, bleeding, malformation of a blood vessel and it was located on his brain stem.  Doctors admitted the seaman and monitored him for two weeks and finally made the decision to perform surgery on the malformation.  The surgery resulted in the seaman becoming completely disabled and bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

The maritime lawyer that this client retained was able to prove that the injury could have been reduced or even prevented if treatment had been provided sooner.  Since the seaman did not have access to hospital care on the rig, the disability fell on the shoulders of his employer.  The settlement reached in this case provided the plaintiff with $7.15 million, more than enough to provide for his family for the rest of their lives.

This particular case demonstrates how not all Jones Act claims start because of physical injuries like slipping and falling.  Having an experienced maritime lawyer on your side can mean the difference between a few thousand dollars and several million dollars.  If you, or someone you know, have experienced an injury or illness on the waters, contact your maritime lawyer immediately.  You and your family have the right to have your day in court.


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