Latti & Anderson, LLP Honored for Achieving Top Settlement of the Year for Clients

At the recent Leaders in Law Awards ceremony, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly presented the team at Latti & Anderson LLP with top honors for recovering the highest settlement for clients in the state during 2023. The professional journal also honored us by publishing a full description of the case, including the legal hurdles we had to overcome throughout the process.

While it is heartbreaking to see our clients endure hardships such as the one in this case, when we guide them to a fair outcome and substantial recovery, we can all enjoy the sense that we have achieved a measure of justice and helped to right a wrong.

$22.5 Million Settlement for Injured Deckhand

The case that led to the largest settlement of the year involved a 38-year-old deckhand who suffered crush injuries that occurred during efforts to load a barge. The severity of the injuries required above-knee amputation of both legs, leaving the injured mariner with life-long pain and the need to expend extraordinary effort to accomplish ordinary tasks the rest of us take for granted. 

“This was an extremely horrific, life-changing injury,” explained Partner and Attorney Carolyn M. Latti. “Every day he is in pain and struggling to deal with it.” A video showing the client’s challenges with daily life, helped convey to the defendants in the case the full extent of the pain and suffering resulting from their negligence.

The significant settlement not only reflects the severity of the injuries as conveyed by the legal team but also, according to Attorney and Partner David F. Anderson, the outstanding cooperation and positive attitude displayed by the client throughout the case. “Nice clients finish first,” he noted.

Six Defendants Shared in the Liability

One factor that made the case extraordinarily complicated was the distribution of liability among six different defendants. In order words, the legal team at Latti & Anderson, LLP needed to demonstrate legal liability in six separate instances on the part of six distinct entities to gain their inclusion in the settlement.

It can be rare for a legal case to have more than one or two depositions—this case involved more than 30 depositions. The equipment involved was subjected to multiple examinations and inspections.

Then they needed to get all six defendants together in one place so that they could agree on how to apportion their combined liability. Overcoming the logistical hurdles was a challenge requiring skill, knowledge, and determination. 

Overlapping Areas of Law

Another factor that added to the complexity of the case was the fact that it involved multiple areas of law. In addition to issues of traditional maritime law, the case also hinged on issues of state tort law. This case involved a vessel that capsized because it had been overloaded, and the team at Latti & Anderson, LLP demonstrated that the weight displayed on the scale was far less than the actual weight. The false readings provided by the defective scale led to loading the barge beyond capacity. Liability was demonstrated against defendants who included the designer, manufacturer, seller, and installers of the equipment as well as a defendant who had performed work on the scale.

Lawsuits filed against the various defendants in state and federal court required multiple motions regarding supplemental jurisdiction and other issues before the matter could finally be consolidated in federal court.

Justice for a Maritime Employee Who Was Injured Doing His Job the Right Way

It’s always sad when someone makes a mistake and gets hurt, but when a dedicated worker is injured while performing their duties as exactly as they are supposed to, the situation becomes tragic. The deckhand who was so horribly injured in this case was experienced, diligent, and attentive. He did everything right. Yet because someone else failed to behave responsibly with respect to procedures and equipment, his life was destroyed in many ways.

Latti & Andrson, LLP is Proud to Help Those Hurt When Others Fail to Live Up to Obligations

While the team at Latti & Anderson, LLP enjoyed our moment in the spotlight receiving the award for achieving the highest settlement of the year, what really motivates us each day is the opportunity to right the wrongs and fight for fair treatment for workers who are injured and often overlooked. We are proud to be recognized by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as Leaders of the Law, but even more proud to serve mariners hurt in the line of duty. We are grateful for the trust they put in us and strive to do our best to earn them the recovery they deserve.