Friday, February 13, 2015

Is this the Record Admiralty Award?

An oil rig worker won a $16.7 million final judgment issued Jan. 9, with $2 million in punitive damages and $162,600 in attorney fees.

George Tillman, had worked on an oil rig in the waters off Qatar when he allegedly contracted viral pneumonia, leading to multiple medical conditions, including blood clots and depression.

Tillman sued Hercules Offshore Services, his former employer, and its parent company under the Jones Act, & for Maintenance and Cure.  Tillman alleged that the rig on which he worked had unsanitary conditions and that those conditions led to his ailments.  Tillman’s claims against the corporate defendants included: negligence, unseaworthiness of vessel and failure to pay for a seaman’s maintenance and cure.

On Oct. 14, 2014, after a nearly three-week trial, the jury issued a $17.5 million verdict that included $6 million in damages for past and future mental anguish and the additional $2 million in punitive damages.  The judge, when calculating his final judgment, figured in salary offsets to defendants’ advantage that both sides had stipulated to during the trail.