New Zealand Boating Company Fined After a Worker Sustained Head and Wrist Injuries

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

When a boat accident occurs, it is usually the result of someone’s negligence or wrongdoing. Boating companies are required use reasonable or ordinary care the safety of those who use their vessels and equipment as well as make sure anyone operating a vessel abides by maritime law. When they do not, the companies may be held responsible for any accidents or injuries that ensue, which is what happened to a Whanagaparoa boating business recently.

The boating company was fined $30,000 and ordered to pay $15,000 in damages after one of its workers was seriously injured in a fall. The Brin Wilson Boats Limited worker fell nearly ten feet from a boat that was dry docked in February while he was reattaching handrails. The worker fell when attempting to reach for a handrail that had been removed for cleaning the previous day and sustained injuries to his face and head as well as suffered a broken left wrist. After hearing about the incident, the North Shore District Court and the Auckland, New Zealand boating company was found responsible for the worker’s personal injury accident.

“The hazards of falls from height are well recognised and documented and there are many publications and guidance on how to avoid falls from height – both general guidance and specific to the boat-building industry,” said John Howard, Northern health and safety manager for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. “Preventing falls from height is a priority for MBIE. No matter what height people are working at, there is risk involved and MBIE expects everyone with staff or contractors to actively manage this significant hazard.”

Although this personal injury accident occurred in New Zealand, workers and crewmembers sustain serious injuries while working onboard boats and cruise ships in the United States as well. Whether the incident occurs in the U.S. or in national waters, workers and crewmembers who are hurt because the vessel’s operators failed to provide a safe environment may be entitled to seek compensation for any injuries and loved ones of those who are fatally wounded may also file a claim for damages. If you or someone you know was involved in a crewman accident, contact one of our maritime lawyers for assistance in filing a crewmember claim immediately.

Our admiralty attorneys have over 165 years of combined experience representing those injured or killed due to the negligence of a cruise line operator or boating company and will see to it your rights are protected. Crewmembers can file a seaman or seafarer claim if they are injured or become ill while working in the service of the vessel. As a crewmember, you have a right to medical care, lost wages, food and shelter and several other benefits and if your employer does not uphold those rights, you can file a claim. Call us today to get started on your case immediately.