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11/09/2017

American Commercial Lines settles deckhand’s Jones Act lawsuit

Written by Emily

People go through thousands of motions each day: grabbing a tissue, toting groceries, opening doors, brushing our teeth. In our jobs, especially if we a deckhand are doing manual labor, we get so used to the repetitive movements they become second-nature. We usually aren’t consciously aware of our physical actions, everything seems normal, natural.

Then, when you’re reaching to tie your shoelace, or to grab your cell phone from the counter, suddenly, nothing is normal or natural.

A snap. A twinge. A sharp pain. A crack. A spasm. Something has gone terribly wrong. You don’t know why or how, but you know you’re in trouble.

This happened to our client as he was lifting a mop bucket full of water. A deckhand, our client was used to manual labor and was working with other shipmates to clean their vessel. It was a normal day for him. He bent over, reached down, lifted it up, and felt a sharp pain in his lower back. He was almost done with his watch. He figured that he could take a few ibuprofen, sleep, and it would be fine.

It wasn’t. He started his next watch in even more pain. Moving became more and more difficult as time went on. He couldn’t take it anymore. He told his captain, who had him sent ashore for medical attention.

The diagnosis was a minor sprain. He was put on work restrictions, but his company couldn’t accommodate him, so they sent him home until he got better.

But, they didn’t pay him his maintenance and cure. As a Jones Act worker, he was entitled to maintenance and cure while recovering. He had a family to support and bills to pay. He got frustrated and started looking for help.

After finding VB Attorneys, he hired Brian Beckcom. Brian filed a lawsuit against his company, demanding that they give our client his Jones Act benefits. The company settled before trial for a confidential amount.

Our client and his wife both sat down with us to talk about how we helped them. Tiffany, his wife, says:

“My husband was injured on his job. My husband is 48 years old and we had no idea on after his injuries, what we were going to do. He and I spoke about it and we contacted Brian with the attorney Vuk and Beckcom office. And after doing so, he and I felt so much better after we spoke with them and got some ideas on what how to pursue this case. After about a year or so, with no issues with the attorneys or you know, nothing to actually prevent us from talking to them or um, my husband and I was very satisfied with the work that was done with our case. You know it was settled in less than a year and we had -anytime we spoke with someone at the law office, we were satisfied. And, like I said after a year, you know, he got his settlement, and now we can think bout our future and exactly what we can do to move on. So I just wanted to say it was a joy working with everybody here at the law office, and it was the best decision that he and I could have made.”

Our client, Elvern, says:

“From the first day I met Brian and the legal staff, I felt very comfortable in knowing that my case would be handled and that they would take it 100%. I felt very confident that Brian and his staff would take care of my case and settle it real soon so that my wife would feel more comfortable with me being around the house instead of being on pins and needles. But for my injuries on the job, you know, they took care of me. Just like as if I was family.”

Emily Corwin

11/09/2017

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