Fishermen’s Finest Maritime Injury Claims
Fishermen's Finest is an independent United States commercial fishing company headquartered in Kirkland, Washington. The company harvests and processes groundfish in the Bering Sea (Ports of Dutch Harbor and Togiak) and the Gulf of Alaska (Ports of Kodiak and Seward). Fishermen's Finest has a fleet of three catcher/processor vessels that operate ten months out of the year from January to October:
- FV America's Finest (264 ft.)
- U.S. Intrepid (184 ft.)
- American No. 1 (160 ft.)
Fishermen's Finest has a crew of 130 at sea every day, and an additional 70 workers rotate in on a seasonal basis. Working on a commercial fishing ship is one of the toughest jobs in the United States. Crew members must operate dangerous equipment in harsh weather conditions, and injuries can happen. It is critical for workers injured on commercial fishing vessels to understand their unique rights under the law. There are three main causes of action for seamen injured at work, including 1) maintenance and cure, 2) the doctrine of unseaworthiness, and 3) the Jones Act.
Maintenance and cure are benefits available to all seamen who are injured while working on a vessel. It originates from the employer's obligation to provide room and board while you are working at sea. Maintenance covers day-to-day living expenses, like rent, utilities, property taxes, and food. Cure covers all reasonable and necessary medical expenses. Fishermen's Finest must pay maintenance and cure until you are able to return to work or no further treatment will help you recover. Crew members are entitled to receive maintenance and cure regardless of who was at fault for the injury.
Under general maritime law, the unseaworthiness doctrine requires ship owners to provide a vessel and its appurtenances that are reasonably fit for their intended use. "Appurtenances" include both equipment and the other crew members on the boat. Some examples of unseaworthiness include worn out non-skid pads, a lack of warning signs, unsecured cargo, or an insufficient number of crew members. If an unseaworthy condition causes your injury, Fishermen's Finest will be liable. You do not need to prove that Fishermen's Finest was negligent or even knew about the unseaworthy condition.
The Jones Act requires Fishermen's Finest to provide its crew members with a reasonably safe place to work, and it allows an injured seaman to sue Fisherman's Finest for negligence. The injured crew member must prove that the employer was negligent, and that the negligence was a cause of the seaman's injury. It does not need to be the sole or even primary cause of the injury. There are considerable damages available under the Jones Act.
Kraft Davies Olsson PLLC is a nationally recognized leader in maritime personal injury law. Kraft Davies has significant experience representing injured seamen against Fishermen's Finest. We understand the fishing industry and know how to get you the compensation that you deserve. If you or a loved one were injured in a commercial fishing or shipping accident, contact the attorneys at Kraft Davies today at 206-624-8844 or through this website.