MAY 12, 2011 by Bill Abbott
When you are working in the maritime industry, you have to be prepared for everything. Even safety training can take a wrong turn and lead to injuries. An interesting Jones Act case involved a safety drill gone wrong. Two seamen were lowered over the side of a vessel in a lifeboat. When the two men were busily undoing the lifeboat from the vessel, the vessel unexpectedly started to move. It ended up dragging the lifeboat until it capsized and the men were thrown into the water. One of the men became tangled in the line and was pulled underwater and dragged for about 400 feet.
The second man was picked up by another vessel and delivered back to the offending vessel. When he arrived, he jumped off and rescued the other man. No one else attempted to rescue either of the men when they were in the water. The seaman that had been underwater required CPR to save his life. Both men ended up being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder because of the incident.
Both seamen retained Jones Act attorneys and filed claims against their employer. It was brought to light that the captain of the offending vessel had forgotten his radio, making communication delayed. This was the reason why no one attempted rescue efforts right away. However, both seamen claimed that they were unable to return to their normal jobs because of the PTSD. The Jones Act attorneys in this claim were able to garner a settlement of $1.1 million for the injured seamen.
This particular case did not involve bodily injury the way many Jones Act claims do. This case involved a disorder that rendered the two seamen unable to work. With the help of their Jones Act lawyers, the men were able to find some financial compensation to help support themselves and their families in the future. If you, or someone you know, have suffered a physical or mental injury in the maritime industry, contact an experienced Jones Act law firm for legal advice.