$1,500,000 – Line Strike Injury
Type of action: Admiralty
Injuries alleged: right axillary and subclavian artery dissection, brachial plexopathy, axillary nerve injury, multiple fractures of the scapula, scapular spine, ribs, vertebral bodies to sternal fracture, herniated and discs and tears and lympedema.
Tried before judge or jury (or mediation): Settled
Amount (specify award or settlement): $1,500,000.00
Date (of verdict or settlement): July 2011
Summary of Evidence
Plaintiff’s injury occurred when the crew were in the process of hauling back a trawling net. There was a problem in that one of the lines had become detached earlier in the operation and one of the messenger lines was improperly lead inboard of a spreader bar on the stern rail. The messenger line needed to be outboard of the bar when bringing in the lines. Id. The Plaintiff saw the problem with the line, yelled stop to captain and crew that they had a problem and approached the starboard messenger line to move it in the right position. While facing the port stern, the Plaintiff grabbed the starboard messenger line, picked it up, so that he could lift the messenger line up and over the starboard spreader bar. As he placed the messenger line to the portside of the starboard spreader bar, the Plaintiff heard the hiss of brakes of the port side main winch being released. Immediately thereafter, the messenger line he had just placed over the starboard spreader bar went taut, striking the Plaintiff on the right side of his torso and lifting him up by his right armpit and throwing him up into the air. The Plaintiff landed on the frame of the spare net cage/pen.
As a result of the accident, the Plaintiff was diagnosed with a right axillary and subclavian artery dissection resulting in RUE ischemia and nerve damage requiring surgery and stenting. Also, the Plaintiff broke numerous bones including multiple fractures of the scapula, scapular spine, ribs, vertebral bodies to sternal fracture. Also, the Plaintiff was diagnosed with herniated discs and tears and lympedema. Plaintiff’s fractures healed but was diagnosed with acute nerve denervation, brachial plexopathy and axillary nerve injury resulted in near complete loss of the anterior half of his deltoid. Plaintiff had limited grip strength and function in arm and ability to lift his whole arm up and down in any manner.
Plaintiff alleged that a fellow crew member negligently led the starboard messenger line on the starboard side (rather than port side) of the starboard spreader bar, proper procedures were not set up or followed on the vessel regarding the haul back process, that captain or mate failed to examine the deck area to make sure area was clear before starting the process to haul back the net, equipment used in haulback process of a G hook and flat link was defective and that Defendant failed to inspect, repair and replace the defective G and/or flat link. Lastly, that the vessel failed to have a loud hailer that received communications and that the captain view from the wheelhouse was obstructed and that the Defendant could not see the area surrounding the net reel.
Due to the magnitude of Plaintiff’s injury, Plaintiff was unable to return to any type of work.