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Jury awards Jones Act seaman $1.5 million in punitive damages

McArthur Griffin was working as a deckhand on the offshore supply vessel M/V DUSTIN DANOS when he sustained injuries to his shoulder, back, legs and other parts of his body after he was struck by a man lift. He filed a Jones Act personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. The vessel owner vehemently disputed Mr. Griffin’s claims and litigation ensued.

The case was ultimately tried by a jury in the Middle District of Louisiana. The jury awarded Mr. Griffin $1.6 million in personal injury damages finding Mr. Griffin was only 10% at fault for the accident. So Mr. Griffin gets to recover 90% of the $1.6 million.

Significantly, the jury also awarded $1.5 million in punitive damages because it determined the wrongfully refused to pay maintenance and cure benefits. Punitive damages are meant to punish defendants so the jury determined that the defendant’s refusal to pay was sufficiently egregious to warrant punishing the vessel owner.

So the plaintiff's net recovery is about $3 million. The jury verdict form can be accessed through the following link:

Griffin v. REC Marine Logistics
Download PDF • 2.54MB

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Adam Davis


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