David was a licensed tankerman who worked for a dredging company out of Virginia. A tankerman is a seaman licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to transfer certain liquids, such as oil and fuel, on the water. One day, while working on a job on the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina, David was told by the company superintendent that he was being brought from one dredging vessel to another in order to fuel it. It so happened that the other Dredge's tankerman had gone home, leaving David as the only licensed tankerman on the job.
After breakfast, the superintendent and David started riding down the river toward the second dredge David was going to fuel. The superintendent piloted the boat while David rode on the crane barge it was pushing. Just then, another boat from the other dredge approached. David was told that the other boat would bring him to where he was going, and to get on.
The other boat came up to the barge, its nose touching the side of the barge. No ropes were used to tie the vessels together, there was no ramp for David to use to get from one vessel to the other, and neither of the two crewmembers on the boat offered to help David. All the while, the vessels continued heading down river.
When David tried to board the boat, his foot slipped, causing him to get caught under one of his arms, immediately dislocating his shoulder and twisting him around like a rag doll. After nearly falling in the water, he finally managed to board the vessel in severe pain and was taken to the hospital. David had two surgeries and could no longer work on the water. his life changed completely.
David hired our team of attorneys. We filed a lawsuit for David and engaged in years of intense discovery, including over 25 depositions. The case was tried in front of a jury in Norfolk, Virginia, and after more than a week, the jury came back with a verdict awarding David over $360,000.
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