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$________ Jones Act – Employee injury aboard cruise ship – Failure to pay maintenance and cure for cervical disc herniation – Cervical surgery recommended.

Miami-Dade County, FL

The plaintiff worked as a cleaner for the defendant cruise lines. While working aboard the defendant’s ship, the plaintiff claimed that she suffered an injury to her wrist which was later diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome.

The plaintiff ultimately underwent carpal tunnel release surgery. The defendant provided medical treatment for the plaintiff’s wrist and eventually paid for her surgery to repair the wrist injury.

While the plaintiff was recovering from her wrist injury, she developed pain in her neck. Her neck pain was later diagnosed as a herniated disc. The doctors retained by the defendant declared the plaintiff at maximum medical cure for her neck injury, cut off her benefits and sent her back to her home country of St. Vincent.

The plaintiff contended that the defendant was responsible to provide treatment for her neck injury, including neck surgery as was recommended by the physicians retained by plaintiff’s counsel. The defendant’s medical experts contended that the plaintiff’s neck injury was preexisting.

The defendant argued that its denial of the plaintiff’s claim was valid because the original treating doctors had declared the plaintiff at maximum medical cure years earlier. The defense stressed that there was a two year gap in treatment, to argue that the plaintiff’s injuries were not significant enough to require surgery.After a six day trial, the jury found that the defendant failed to provide adequate medical care and breached its obligation to provide maintenance and cure. The plaintiff was awarded $________ in damages. The plaintiff’s attorney fees were added to the award. The defendant had offered $________ to settle the case prior to trial.

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