$700,000 Settlement for Bluegrass Marine Worker
In June of 2007, Schlichter Bogard & Denton, in a case handled by Nelson Wolff, obtained a settlement valued at approximately $700,000 for Chief towboat engineer Charles Blaine, Jr., who suffered back injuries while working for Bluegrass Marine. Blaine was hurt while working on a tow boat on the Mississippi River in Louisiana when he slipped and fell down the exterior steps of the vessel. Bluegrass denied responsibility and disputed the nature and extent of injuries since Blaine returned to work his next scheduled trip and signed a statement saying he was fit for duty. Legal investigation revealed that the fall was caused by a paint pan which had been left on the steps by a deckhand the day before. The barge company had surveillance which it claimed showed the employee to be fishing during the period he claimed he could not work and that an application for social security disability benefits completed by the worker identified a date of injury five months BEFORE the alleged date of maritime injury. Blaine had only 5 months of service for Bluegrass and had worked for 9 different employers over the 10 year period before the date of injury. As a result of the settlement, Schlichter Bogard & Denton was able to provide this disabled worker with long term financial security.