On May 9 at 7:52 a.m., watchstanders at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England received word that a crewmember aboard the F/V EXPLORER had sustained a head injury from a parted wire. The Coast Guard immediately launched a 47-foot motor lifeboat to assist the injured fisherman, and he was medically evacuated two miles west of Block Island, R.I. Coast Guard crews safely transferred him to EMS responders at Station Point Judith around 8:36 a.m., and he was transported to South County Hospital for treatment.
Head injuries are not uncommon in the fishing industry. In fact, according to a recently-published study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the “agriculture, forestry and fishing industry had the highest rates” of fatal traumatic brain injuries between 2003 and 2008. Latti & Anderson LLP has represented many fishermen and merchant seamen with traumatic brain injuries. Similar to this case, Latti & Anderson LLP represented a New Bedford fisherman who sustained traumatic brain injuries when a 20-ton block broke free and struck him, scalping him and causing spine injuries and brain injuries. Additionally, we obtained a $5.9 million verdict for a merchant seaman who fell from a tanker.
Under the law, a parted wire is the classic example of an unseaworthy piece of equipment. The circumstances here entitle this injured crew member to damages under the law for past and future lost wages, past and future pain and suffering and physical disfigurement. Additionally, the fisherman’s employer is responsible for his medical bills until he reaches a medical endpoint. In this case, it is very important that the proper investigation occurs and that the wire that parted is saved for inspection by all parties.
In the unfortunate event a fishing accident occurs, injured workers may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act or other maritime laws and should promptly consult an experienced maritime attorney to learn about their legal rights.
Did you suffer a fishing injury because of poor equipment maintenance, lack of safety equipment or procedures, failure to follow correct procedures, lack of training, or assault? Contact a Boston maritime attorney today to ensure your legal rights are protected.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers