Berman & Simmons achieves significant settlement for maritime worker

Berman & Simmons has successfully applied their expert knowledge of maritime law to achieve a significant settlement on behalf of their client who was severely injured while working at sea.

Berman & Simmons represented a maritime worker who was hurt while working for a fishery when his dominant hand was pulled into an unguarded winch. He lost two fingers, and with them, his chance to earn a meaningful livelihood at sea. The case was headed to trial when the employer agreed to a settlement compensating the worker for his severe injury.

This outcome would not have been possible if the injury had occurred in an on-shore workplace. This is because Maine’s Workers’ Compensation Program prevents employees of land-based businesses from suing their employers, even when their injuries are caused by poor work conditions or employer carelessness. By contrast, because maritime jobs pose serious risks not typical in land-based positions, the Jones Act permits a seaman injured at work to pursue a jury trial against his employer and seek a broad option of damages that would not be available to land-based workers.

It was Berman & Simmons’ application of the Jones Act of 1920 that allowed them to negotiate such an exceptional outcome for their client. In this case, Berman & Simmons alleged that unsafe workplace conditions caused their client’s injury and brought a Jones Act negligence claim against the employer seeking compensation for lost future earnings, past and future medical expenses, past and future pain and suffering, and permanent impairment damages.

Because Maine is home to thousands of maritime jobs that support the regional economy, Berman & Simmons has developed a specialty in maritime workplace law. That advocacy is consistent with the firm’s century of personal injury and medical malpractice representation on behalf of clients.