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Jones Act Lawsuit Filed When Heavy Lifting Led to Back Injury

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers understand the importance of Illinois Jones Act Claims.

The Jones Act is a law enacted by Congress that provides protection to persons who are members of the crew of a ship or vessel. The Jones Act provides an injured seaman a remedy against his or her employers for injuries arising from negligent acts of the employer or co-workers during the course of employment on a ship or vessel. This means that the employer must do something unreasonable or fail to perform a reasonable act that would have prevented injury in order for the seaman to win his claim.

The Jones Act applies to inland river workers as well as offshore workers who work on a jackup rig, semi-submersible ship or rig, barge, drill ship, tug/towboat, crew boat, drill ship, dredge, floating crane, tanker, cargo ship, fishing vessel, chemical ship, research vessel, construction barge, lay barge, motorized platform, diving vessel, cruise ship, recreational boat or other floating/movable structures.

Last month, a ship worker filed a Jones Act lawsuit against his employer, claiming that he fell as he was transporting fire extinguishers between decks on the deep water drill ship on which he worked. According to the lawsuit, the worker alleged that he suffered injury to his back, which has caused him to miss work, endure severe pain, and undergo medical treatment.

According to the South East Texas Record, the lawsuit was filed against the victim’s employers: Gulf Copper GP, Gulf Copper & Manufacturing Corp. and Pride International Inc. The suit claims that the defendants who owned, operated, and maintained the ship, failed to properly equip the vessel with the proper and safe equipment to move heavy materials between decks.

According to court documentation, the fire extinguishers which the man was instructed to carry weighed approximately 50 pounds each, and the worker was forced to carry them up and down steep stairways. 

”While maneuvering between decks transporting the heavy equipment, the plaintiff fell down the stairway severely injuring his back,”

 reports the South East Texas Record. Ultimately the plaintiff had to be airlifted from the ship to a hospital on shore, and to date he continues to receive medical treatment for his injuries.

Jones Act claims can be potentially traumatic, and our Illinois Jones Act attorneys understand how to best guide our clients through the process, and fight diligently for the most favorable outcomes. The Jones Act provides an injured seaman a remedy against his or her employers for injuries arising from negligent acts of the employer or co-workers during the course of employment on a ship or vessel. This means that the employer must do something unreasonable or fail to perform a reasonable act that would have prevented injury in order for the seaman to win his claim.

Our attorneys even obtained a $4.5 million Illinois record Jones Act settlement for a deckhand whose leg was crushed between two barges resulting in an above the knee amputation. If you or a loved one has suffered injury from work aboard a ship, contact an attorney specializing in Jones Act claims to better understand your rights.