Ocean Beauty Seafoods Maritime Injury Claims
Ocean Beauty Seafoods is one of Alaska's oldest and largest commercial fishing companies. It opened in 1910 as a storefront in Seattle and since then has expanded into one of the largest processors of all five species of Alaskan salmon, halibut, black cod, rockfish, flatfish, pollock, and herring, among others. Ocean Beauty has processing locations in Naknek, Alitak, Kodiak, Cordova, Excursion Inlet, and Petersburg.
Working for Ocean Beauty Seafoods is not easy. Employees must operate heavy equipment in harsh weather conditions, and the work is often physical and repetitive. If you are a seaman and were injured working for Ocean Beauty, it is crucial to understand your legal rights. Maritime law is complex, and your rights as a seaman are different from employees' rights in most other industries. The three primary claims available to injured maritime workers are 1) maintenance and cure, 2) the doctrine of unseaworthiness, and 3) the Jones Act. You are not limited to recovery under one claim.
In general, maintenance and cure are benefits that a seaman is entitled to if they were injured while at work. You do need to prove Ocean Beauty Seafoods was negligent or reckless to receive these benefits. Maintenance and cure include compensation for medical expenses (hospital bills, medication, medical tests, etc.) and day-to-day living expenses (food, rent, utilities, and homeowner's insurance). These benefits last until you meet "maximum medical improvement." This happens when a doctor determines that your condition cannot be improved and no further treatment will help you recover. If you are permanently disabled, this may mean that your maintenance and cure benefits will end when you still need medical treatment to maintain your health.
In addition to maintenance and cure, injured seamen may be able to bring a cause of action against Ocean Beauty for unseaworthiness. Under the doctrine of unseaworthiness, the shipowner has an absolute duty to provide its employees with a "seaworthy" vessel. This means the vessel, its equipment, and crew must be reasonably fit for their intended use. In general, this means everything must be in safe and working order. Because the shipowner has an absolute duty, you do not need to prove negligence to recover damages under the doctrine of unseaworthiness.
The Jones Act allows injured seamen to sue Ocean Beauty for negligence. Under the Jones Act, Ocean Beauty must give its seamen a reasonably safe place to work and use reasonable care to prevent injuries. They cannot prioritize profit over safety. Employers are liable under the Jones Act if their negligence played any part in the injury, no matter how slight.
Kraft Davies, PLLC is a nationally recognized leader in maritime personal injury law. Kraft Davies has significant experience representing injured seamen against Ocean Beauty Seafoods. 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.