$700,000 Settlement for Bluegrass Marine Worker
In June of 2007, Schlichter Bogard & Denton–in a case handled by Mr. Nelson Wolff–obtained a settlement valued at approximately $700,000 for Chief Towboat Engineer Mr. Charles Blaine Jr., who suffered back injuries while working for Bluegrass Marine (“Bluegrass”). Mr. Blaine Jr. was hurt while working on a tow boat on the Mississippi River in Louisiana when he slipped and fell from the vessel’s exterior steps.
Bluegrass denied responsibility and disputed the nature and extent of injuries, arguing that Mr. Blaine Jr. returned to work for his next scheduled trip and signed a statement saying that he was fit for duty. Legal investigation, however, revealed that the fall was engendered by a deckhand’s leaving a paint pan on the exterior steps the previous day. Bluegrass presented surveillance footage that it claimed showed Mr. Blaine Jr. fishing during the period that he claimed he could not work. Bluegrass further argued that Mr. Blaine Jr. completed an application for social security disability benefits that reflected a date of injury five months prior to the alleged date of maritime injury. Mr. Blaine Jr. had only five months of service for Bluegrass and had worked for nine different employers over the ten year period before the date of injury. As a result of the settlement, Schlichter Bogard & Denton was able to provide Mr. Blaine, Jr. with long term financial security.
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