Shortly before trial, Sabine Transportation Company has agreed to a settlement with an injured Jones Act seaman. Sabine Transportation Company agreed to settle claims brought by one of its employees under the Jones Act and General Maritime Law. The seaman, Brian Gibson, alleged that he was injured while in the course and scope of his employment with Sabine aboard the MV Trinity.
Seaman Gibson was assisting the able-bodied seaman Erwin Laserna in securing the mooring lines of the Trinity to the dock in Agadir, Morocco. At one point in the mooring operation, the lines began to part and snapback in series. Gibson yelled for Laserna to take cover while he completed securing his line. Gibson was unsuccessful in shielding himself as a line wrapped around his legs.
According to plaintiff’s counsel, Brian Beckcom, the accident report completed by the captain of the Trinity on the day of the accident established Sabine’s liability. Beckcom quoted Captain Flynn’s report as stating: “The lines aboard the Trinity have no strength in them whatsoever. I have lost count on how many times lines and wires have parted.” Beckcom reports that emails from Captain Flynn to Sabine’s headquarters obtained during discovery indicated that there had been problems with the mooring lines for a two week period prior to Gibson’s accident.
Gibson sustained torn muscles, nerves, and ligaments of the lower right leg and a deep laceration of the left thigh. Gibson was immediately transported to a hospital in Morocco, where he was initially treated, and then transported to the United States where he underwent approximately two years of medical treatment, including stays at the emergency room in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and treatments at Mid-Jefferson Hospital in the Beaumont, Texas area. Gibson incurred approximately $80,000 in medical expenses.
The case settled for a confidential amount.