Federal Court finds Fishing Company does not have to pay Maintenance and Cure

The District of Massachusetts entered summary judgment in favor of a fishing company finding that it was not liable to pay maintenance and cure to a former deckhand after he claims he aggravated his original injury when working on a different vessel a few weeks after his work release.

The deckhand claimed he injured his back in November 2017 onboard a scalloper fishing out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Following his release to work in early October 2018, the deckhand began working on another vessel a few weeks later, after which he claims he aggravated his back pain.  The deckhand’s attorneys incorrectly claimed maintenance and cure from the first vessel.

Olaf Aprans, representing the owner if the first vessel, filed a Declaratory Judgment Action, seeking a finding of no liability to pay maintenance and cure. The USDC entered Summary Judgment in favor of our client, finding the deckhand was at maximum medical improvement when released to work in October 2018, and that any aggravation thereafter was the responsibility of deckhand’s subsequent employer.

The decision was initially entered by Hon. United States Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley and later affirmed by Hon. United States District Judge Leo T. Sorokin.

See the filing of the Court’s decision, 10/15/20.

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