F/V Vengeance fishing boat tied up at a pier in Point Pleasant, NJ

Thomas Brower was a 57-year-old fishing boat captain of 45-foot scalloper F/V Vengeance. In the late afternoon hours of March 2, 2015, Tom boarded the Vengeance which was tied up at a small pier in Point Pleasant, NJ. His purpose was to insure a fuel valve was closed so as to prevent water pollution during a fuel transfer. When Mr. Brower got to the pier, to board the vessel he had to step down to a small platform alongside the pier installed to bridge the gap between the boat’s deck and the pier. The platform was about 3’ below the rail of the boat over which he had to climb to get to the boat’s deck. To get over the rail, Mr. Brower had to put one foot into a scupper hole at the bottom of the boat’s railing then lift his other foot up to the rail, then hop up with his first foot then hop down to the boat. When he landed, his right foot slipped on the deck, which also had no anti-skid coating, and twisted violently, causing to fall.

A Closer Look at Mr. Brower’s Injuries

The severe twisting of Mr. Brower’s foot caused several bones in his foot to fracture and resulted in a lis franc fracture. He had surgery to treat his lis franc fracture on March 16, 2015, at Ocean Medical Center. After that, he had physical therapy for one-year post-surgery. Upon the completion of physical therapy, a functional capacity evaluation found that Mr. Brower will never again be able to work at sea because of his ongoing physical limitations.

Unsafe platform at pier boarding the 45-foot scalloper F/V Vengeance

The Evidence We Presented at Mediation Was Persuasive

Although the defendants claimed they had no liability, and Mr. Brower’s damages were overstated, we were able to settle Mr. Brower’s claim for $450,000.

While the defendant argued that Mr. Brower, as captain of the boat, could have obtained a platform that would have prevented the injury, we successfully argued for our client’s fair compensation. We argued that the vessel owner has a non-delegable duty to provide seamen with a safe way to get on the boat and we presented compelling evidence that the vessel owner did not do so in this case. Specifically, we presented photos, the expert report of an experienced marine engineer, and the report of an expert medical witness. This evidence established that the lack of non-skid coating on the platform and the rail, the lack of proper boarding equipment, and other factors, led to Mr. Brower’s fall and resulting injuries.

Our Client’s Future Is What Is Important

Our client Mr. Brower who suffered a maritime injury Mr. Brower was 57 years old on the day that he was hurt. Mr. Brower’s injuries have prevented him from working as a commercial fisherman since the date of his accident and will continue to prevent him from working as a commercial fisherman until his projected retirement date. The mediated settlement of $450,000 will compensate Mr. Brower for the injuries that he suffered as a Jones Act seaman.

If you have suffered a maritime-related injury then we encourage you to find out more about your own recovery and about the difference that it can make in your own life. Please contact us online or call us directly at 800.362.9329 us today via this website or by phone to schedule your free consultation with our experienced maritime injury attorneys.


Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.

DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients' cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client's case.