Practice Area: Admiralty & Maritime
Outcome: VERDICT FOR PLAINTIFF: $3,500,965.00
Description: Plaintiff, a 38-year-old Canadian singer on the vessel Star Dancer, suffered an eye injury while exercising in the ship's gym, where she was struck by an elastic exercise band. At the second trial of the case (an appellate court reversed a directed verdict for the defendant in the first trial), the plaintiff claimed $700 in lost wages and $235 in medical bills. Plaintiff further asserted that the defendant should have reinstated her maintenance and cure after the doctor recommended three-month follow-up treatments to watch for increased eye pressure, and after plaintiff developed stabbing eye pains several times a week as well as problems 3fl entering dark rooms. An ophthalmologist testified that plaintiff had not reached maximum medical improvement at the time of trial. At the second, punitive damages phase of trial, plaintiff introduced evidence that defendant had net earnings of $106 million in 1993, owned nine ships and employed 6,000 crew members. The jury awarded the plaintiff $3,500,000 in punitive damages.