J.E. was working on a commercial fishing vessel in the Bering Sea when his supervisor sent him to fix a broken bag in the freezer, but did not let him change out of his wet gloves. Temperatures in the industrial-sized freezer were so cold that J.E.’s gloves froze solid, causing severe injuries to his hand, arm, and shoulder while he was attempting to make repairs. The ship was more than 20 hours offshore, and J.E.’s treatment was delayed by the remote location.
Our client needed surgery on his shoulder and was out of work for a long time. Doctors said that he could not return to his previous occupation due to the severity of his injuries. A hard worker, our client eventually managed to switch careers while also furthering his education and was even promoted at his new job.
Because our client was injured offshore, his work injury would not be covered by a state department of Labor and Industries. We were able to recover damages under the Jones Act, a maritime law that protects workers who have been injured at sea.