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$________ CONFIDENTIAL Admiralty – Failure to provide safe means of egress from elevated platform – failure of vessel to be equipped with accessible railings or handrails – fingers gets caught between piston and platform deck – Crush injury to index and middle fingers.

Withheld County, MA

In this admiralty action, the plaintiff seaman alleged that the defendant vessel and its owner were negligent in failing to provide a safe means of egress from the platform. As a result, the plaintiff’s fingers were crushed when they became caught between a piston and the platform deck as he attempted to exit the platform. The defendant denied negligence and maintained that the plaintiff was liable for his own injuries.

The 41-year-old merchant seaman was on the defendant vessel on September 12, ________ when he was directed by the dredge captain to assist in adjusting a choker on the center spud of the vessel. The spud is a long pipe with a point above the waterline. The plaintiff climbed onto the platform adjacent to the spud to assist his co-worker. The platform had an attached ladder to ingress and egress to the platform, but was not equipped with handrails or railings. As the plaintiff was exiting the platform his index and middle finger on his left hand became caught between the piston attached to the spud and the platform deck. The plaintiff sustained a crush injury to his two fingers as a result. The plaintiff was unable to work for approximately six months, but thereafter was able to return to his normal duties.

The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant alleging negligence in failing to have the ladder equipped with handrails or railings which would make it safe to enter and exit the platform area. The defendant denied the allegations and maintained that the plaintiff was liable for his own injuries since he failed to exercise due care. The defendant contended that the plaintiff was aware of the pinch point and should have avoided placing his fingers there.The parties agreed to a settlement of $________ following mediation.

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