Longshoreman Claims Fracture and Hypothermia Due To Negligence In San Francisco Boating Accident

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this boating accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Penn reported that his fellow longshoremen were unable to rescue him from the water because Homeland Security had removed all of the dockside ladders. He was in the water for 40 minutes before crewmembers from a pilot boat and a fire department responded.


On Aug. 6, 2008, plaintiff Calvin Penn, 72, a longshoreman, was assigned to mooring lines, a vessel operated by XYZ Marine Transport Corporation. During the course of the docking procedure in Oakland Harbor, Penn placed the eye of the mooring line over the dockside bollard. When the ship’s mate heaved on the mooring line, it parted at the back splice and swept across the dock’s apron, knocking Penn into the water 15 feet below.

Penn sued the transport corporation for negligent maintenance in regard to the defective mooring line. Plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the mooring line parted due to obvious overuse.

The lawyer asserted that the ship’s mate was negligent for heaving the line when the dock apron was not clear, causing the parted line to sweep him off the dock.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Penn was taken by ambulance to an emergency room with hypothermia, which resolved at the hospital. He also sustained a compound comminuted fracture to his left (nondominant) forearm, which was treated with open reduction-internal fixation. He had to have plate hardware replaced due to osteomyelitis.

Penn alleged residual stiffness in his shoulder, which was bruised in the accident, as well as post-traumatic stress. Penn did not return to work as a result of the experience and was permanently retired. He claimed that he had planned on working until he was 80 and noted that there were five older lineman working on the waterfront, three over the age of 80.

The plaintiff sought damages for past and future medical costs, lost earnings and pain and suffering. His medical costs were valued at $63,657.83, while he claimed lost earnings of $150,000 per year up to age 80.

The transport corporation did not dispute the severity of Penn’s injuries, but the defense contended that his future lost earnings claim was too high, since he would not have worked much past the age of 72.

RESULT: Mediated Settlement
Award Total: $1,825,000

The case settled for $1,825,000.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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