The maritime injury law firm of Latti & Anderson LLP succeeded in recovering $22.5 million for a maritime worker who suffered the loss of both of his lower legs in a barge accident.
In a unique case involving complex issues of both admiralty law and state law the firm, after four years until a resolution was reached, succeeded recovery for mariner injured in barge accident.
The 38-year-old injured maritime worker had been employed for some years as a mate on tugs transporting materials on barges. On the date of the accident, he was ordered to load 700 tons of material onto each of two barges tied together. After loading the first barge and while the second barge was being maneuvered into position for loading, the first barge capsized, crushing the worker’s legs between the two barges. He dragged himself along the deck and grabbed a ladder rung to keep from going under water.
Tourniquets placed on each leg kept him alive until emergency assistance arrived, but both legs had to be amputated above the knee. To date, the worker has endured eight rounds of surgery and suffers from constant pain as well as PTSD, anxiety, and depression, as the law firm explains.
Investigation revealed that the scale on the conveyor belt which was used to load material onto the barge was faulty, resulting in the loading of much more tonnes on the barge.
Legal claims were filed against the employer operating the tug and barges, as well as several parties associated with the installation, operation, and manufacture of the scale equipment used on the conveyor belt. One party admitted that they were aware that the scale was inaccurate, but they failed to notify the tug and barge operators, in accordance with the law firm.
“No amount of money will restore our client’s lost opportunities in life. An active man who loved the outdoor life and who dreamed of captaining his own vessel has been forever scarred mentally and physically by trauma that could have been avoided,” said Latti & Anderson.