May 26, 2016 – Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer attorney Bill Schwartz was successful in a recent personal injury trial, receiving a unanimous defense verdict in favor of an offshore drilling client and against the Plaintiff seaman.
After a four day trial, the jury returned its verdict denying any recovery to Plaintiff. He had alleged injury from negligence under the Jones Act and strict liability for unseaworthiness. He also made a demand for punitive damages and attorneys fees on his claims for maintenance & cure, but these were dismissed with prejudice on the eve of trial. The claimed injury was for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) of the left hand. Plaintiff’s fellow workers disputed his testimony on liability about the condition of the wire rope used with an air hoist on the drill rig floor. Plaintiff had two doctors testify that his medical condition would require surgical amputation of his left index finger. BHBM presented a local medical expert in hand surgery who testified Plaintiff did not exhibit the classic symptoms for such condition, he had reached maximum medical improvement, and there was no need for further care. The jury deliberated little more than an hour before returning the unanimous defense verdict.