$214,350 – Finger Tip Amputation

Award Amount: $214,350

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Admiralty

Jones ActCrushed Finger

Injuries alleged: Amputation of tip of middle finger

Name of case: Plaintiff v. Michigan Fishing Inc.

Court/case#: U.S. District Court, No. 95-10682-WGY

Name of judge: William G. Young

Special damages: $235,000 reduced to $214,350

Date of judgment: March 19, 1996

Highest offer: $65,000

Attorneys for plaintiff: Michael B. Latti and Carolyn M. Latti, Latti Associates, Boston

The plaintiff, a mate aboard a scalloper, sustained permanent injury to his left hand. The plaintiff’s middle left finger was crushed when a drag, which he was replacing a shackle on, slipped and crushed his finger. Subsequent to the accident, the tip of the plaintiff’s middle finger was amputated.

During the four-day trial, the judge allowed in testimony of the hoister being fixed the following day after the accident, in order to impeach the captain of the fishing vessel, who had denied repairs ever being done to the hoister. Further, during cross examination of an insurance adjuster who took a statement from a eyewitness to the accident, the plaintiff cast substantial doubt as to the accuracy and reliability of such statements when the adjuster never mentioned corrections to the statement that the eyewitness had made.

The jury found for the plaintiff on counts of negligence and unseaworthiness in the amount of $230,000. After the judge discounted the future damages, final judgment was entered in the amount of $214,350.

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