Free Legal Consultations Available 24/7
206-727-4000 or 866-595-3565

Deadliest Catch Fisherman Files Lawsuit over Firework Injuries

Updated on: 3/21/2019

A crab fisherman who appeared on the popular TV show “Deadliest Catch” has filed a lawsuit against his former employers in King County Superior Court, according to the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

The P.I. reports that David “Beaver” Zielinski was working as a deckhand for the Time Bandit, one of the ships featured on the reality TV show, in January 2013 when a mortar-style firework unsuspectingly exploded in his hand.

Zielinski’s lawsuit contends that the firework in question was a Time Bandit-brand device, and that the ship’s owners and captains – identified as Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand – commercially market the fireworks. Zielinski also contends that the show has featured exchanges of fireworks barrages with other ships and their crewmembers.

In the lawsuit, Zielinski claims that the firework exploded prematurely while in his hand and shattered several bones in his right hand and forearm. A clip of the episode featuring Zielinski’s injury can be seen below:

Boating Injuries Left Seaman Unable to Work

Zielinski’s attorney says that the crewman was acting under the direction of his employer when he attempted to launch the mortar-style firework into the air in celebration of a Seattle Seahawks football game on January 13, 2013. Zielinski was flown from the ship to a medical clinic in Alaska before eventually being airlifted to Seattle for surgery on his hand and arm.

The lawsuit claims that Zielinski has been unable to work since the incident and that he is suffering financially from the lost income. His attorney claims it was unreasonably dangerous for the owners and captains to bring large fireworks onto a boat for the untrained crew.

It is likely that Zielinski has grounds for a claim under the Jones Act, which sets special conditions for ship workers and crew members to recover damages if they were injured on the job due to the negligence of their employer.

He lit essentially a festival balls style firework off in his hand, after a history of fireworks negligence. No captain gave him the order to hold it in his hand, and he actually wasn't aware. The fireworks were packaged with precautions (don't hold in your hand). Only thing this fool is entitled to are medical costs and a Darwin award. I feel bad for the defendant only. FYI, I've spoken to a Juror as it ended today.
by Brandon G May 30, 2017 at 05:56 PM
From what was on the show, he was sitting in the wheel house, and said "Time to celebrate, we're gonna go blow up a whole buttload of these fireworks" with no direction from anyone. That is what was shown anyhow. I feel bad for the guy and obviously this isn't court but it sounds a little "fishy"
by Russell January 22, 2015 at 11:49 AM
Post a Comment