Thursday, January 28, 2010

Life-threatening injuries after Jacksonville boat accident

Three adults and a child were involved in a boating accident Tuesday night at Pottsburg Creek, Jacksonville police said. The incident occurred at a boat dock in the 500 block of Bayridge Road. A Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department spokesman said one person was taken to Shands Jacksonville with life-threatening injuries, but couldn’t provide any other details, citing medical privacy laws. This is an update. Apparently the injuries were not life threatening. FWC report.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ship engineer files Jones Act suit in Galveston

GALVESTON - An Alabama seaman is suing his employer for $75,000 for injuries he reportedly sustained on the job. Leslie Vincent Tapia accuses Supreme Offshore Services Inc. of failing to furnish him safe and proper equipment on board the M/V Warren Thomas. "Such a failure to provide proper working equipment proximately caused and resulted in the injuries and damages sustained by the plaintiff," the suit says. Under the Jones Act, the suit was filed Jan. 6 in Galveston County District Court and claims the vessel was not seaworthy. Tapia worked as an engineer on the Warren Thomas.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Coast Guard Medevacs seaman from tug - Andy Syska

Coast Guard medically evacuates man from tug boat JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Coast Guard medically evacuated a 47-year-old man Sunday night from a 92-foot tug boat near the entrance of the St. Johns River near the Mayport, Fla., jetties. A Coast Guard Station Mayport 47-foot Motor-Lifeboat crew evacuated Andy Syska, hometown unknown, from the vessel Peggy Winslow. A crewmember aboard the vessel sent a radio distress call to Coast Guard search and rescue coordinators at Sector Jacksonville around 7 p.m. to report Syska suffered a leg injury and was in severe pain. The Coast Guard crew transported Syska to awaiting EMS at the Mayport boat ramp. Syska was reportedly in fair condition.

Juries and the Jones Act

This is from the Supreme of Washington Blog: Endicott v. Icicle Seafoods, Inc., No. 82635-8. The Jones Act is a federal law that allows an injured seaman to sue his employer for negligence. Here, Justin Endicott's arm was crushed by a fish cart aboard Icicle Seafood's ship "Bering Star." He sued in King County Superior Court under the Jones Act and the doctrine of unseaworthiness. The Superior Court allowed Endicott to opt for a bench trial (no jury) and ruled for him on both claims. Icicle appeals on four grounds; the Court today addresses two: the bench trial and an award of prejudgment interest. The decision is unanimous, and the opinion, written by Justice Stephens, includes a summary of the history of the Jones Act. On the jury trial question, the Ninth Circuit and California have held that the Jones Act grants plaintiffs "a substantive federal right to elect the mode of trial," while the Fifth and Seventh Circuits, Louisiana, and California, have found that while the plaintiff can choose "the jurisdictional basis of trial (in admiralty vs. at law) ... jury trial rights flow from this election as procedural incidents." While the trial court adopted the Ninth Circuit position, the State Supreme Court today sides with the Fifth and Seventh Circuits. The Court holds that while the Jones Act grants Endicott the right to bring his case in state court, once he has made that decision, Washington's constitutional right to a jury trial applies. The prejudgment interest award is upheld, but only because it is permitted in a bench trial. The case is remanded for a new trial. (briefs and argument)