Jones Act Cases 1-800-934-2921 Call Now to Find a Lawyer

These are actual cases settled or tried under the Jones Act.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Amount of award: $267,703
Oct. 16, 1997

The accident in question took place on board a vessel when the plaintiff was a crew member on a scallop net vessel. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was unhooking a line off a cleat. At the same time, there was evidence presented that the winch operator dropped the doors, causing the line, which the plaintiff was attempting to unhook, to run out. Consequently, the plaintiff's hand was pinned to the cleat and he sustained a severe laceration with an ensuing diagnosis of reflex sympathetic dystrophy. He underwent stellate ganglion blocks and a sympathectomy, and the court ruled, as a matter of law, that his condition had resolved approximately two years post-accident.

Loss of hearing, tinnitus, anxiety, depression : Unseaworthy Vessel-Excessive Noise
Amount of settlement: $475,000
Nov. 5, 1998

The plaintiff was employed form November 1994 to April 1995 as a cook by the defendant corporation on the sailing vessel. The plaintiff claimed that he was continuously exposed to excessive and deafening noise. The plaintiff contended that, as a result of his exposure to the noise, he developed tinnitus, loss of hearing, insomnia, anxiety, depression, lack of concentration and short term memory loss. In August 1994, the vessel was initiated into the defendant corporation's fleet. Within the first month of use of the vessel, seaman were complaining of excessive noise in various areas of the tug. Two months after receipt of the complaints, the defendant hired an acoustical engineering firm to test the sound levels on the vessel. The tests revealed that certain areas of the vessel were above guidelines and that the vessel was not habitable. Modifications to alleviate the sound on the vessel were not performed until approximately June 1995. Liability focused on the defendant's alleged failure to provide a seaworthy vessel, to perform repairs and modifications on the vessel and to alert the crew of the excessive noise levels within a reasonable time. The plaintiff's expert contended that the sound levels in the galley and in the plaintiff's quarters were significantly higher than recorded due to the fact that the original testing was not done when the vessel was towing and did not take into account various continuous noises on the vessel.

Toes Crushed on Barge when hatch covers were moved
Amount of settlement: $250,000
May 1999

On Nov. 12, 1996, the 61-year-old plaintiff was working on the defendant barge. The plaintiff was ordered to assist in removing the hatch covers off of the barge. As part of procedure to remove the hatch covers, the plaintiff had to release some lines that were on the top of the covers. As the plaintiff was proceeding to the top of the cover, the hatch cover moved and crushed the plaintiff's third, fourth and fifth toes. Subsequently, the plaintiff's fourth and fifth toes were amputated. The plaintiff claimed that the operator of the hatch cover failed to give any verbal warning or to use any type of whistle or signal that the hatch cover was moving. In addition, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to provide a proper ingress and egress to get on top of the hatch covers. The case settled a week prior to trial for $250,000.

Line freed from Jilsen hook results in Gear falling onto Plaintiff
Amount of settlement: $500,000
October 1998

On Nov. 7, 1997, the 55-year-old plaintiff, a seaman and crew member on the defendant's vessel, was hauling gear when the ground wires parted and the vessel lost its gear. To retrieve the gear, the crew was ordered to use a jilsen hook. As the gear was being hoisted on the vessel, the line came out of the jilsen hook and the gear struck the plaintiff. As a result of the accident, the plaintiff sustained a L4-5 disc herniation, right shoulder dislocation, rotator cuff tear, multiple abdominal injuries, lacerated liver and kidney hematoma. The plaintiff claimed that: the hoisting procedure and operation were dangerous; the defendant failed to maintain the vessel; and that the defendant didn't provide a safe working place. The plaintiff contended that the broken ground wires were frayed and rusted and that a winch head was never repaired, although crew-members had previously lodged complaints about the condition of both. The plaintiff also alleged that the line surged off the winch head because the winch was broken and lacked the proper cover. In addition, the plaintiff claimed that the failure to tie or mouse the line to the jilsen hook was dangerous and unsafe. The case settled prior to going to trial.

Fall Off a ladder while greasing doors
Amount of settlement: $240,000 jury award (plus interest)
April 1998
At the time of his injury, the 59 year old plaintiff was employed as a seaman by the defendant company. The plaintiff was on a ladder greasing the vessel's doors while another crew member was holding the ladder. The plaintiff began to descend the ladder, at which time the crew member holding the ladder stepped out of the way. The plaintiff then started to ascend the ladder again when the ladder slipped, causing the plaintiff to fall approximately six to eight feet fracturing his rib and pelvis.

Amputation of Leg by Tug Line
Amount of settlement: $748,507
1998- Scotland

Plaintiff was a senior at a maritime academy and, as part of the curriculum, was putting in sea time on a training ship. On May 27, 1994 the ship was leaving its last port, the Port of Leith, in Edinburgh, Scotland prior to returning to the United States. A tug was assisting the vessel out of the locks. The plaintiff was stationed on the stern with several other cadets and a captain. At approximately 2:00 a.m., as the plaintiff was releasing a line of the tug, he contended that the tug suddenly and without warning started to speed away. The line started to move uncontrollably and whip around and allegedly caught the plaintiff's leg in the line. Due to the force, the plaintiff was pulled into a piece of the ship's equipment and his ankle was severed from his body. As a result of the accident, a below the knee amputation was performed in Edinburgh, Scotland. At the time of the accident the tug was owned by a Scottish company and the academy was operating the ship under a charter from the United States. Suit was commenced against the tug company in the Court of Sessions in Edinburgh, Scotland and suit was commenced against the academy in the United States. Liability against the academy focused on the academy's alleged negligent supervision of the cadets, improper and inadequate communication between the tug and the vessel, and improper procedure to release the lines of the tug.


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