Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina and Winkleman Win $4.5 million In Port Of Miami Case


Cruise Bruise partner Charles Lipcon’s firm, Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman PA (LM&W) racked up another great jury award settlement for a severely injured client injured on the job at the Port Of Miami. The verdict is thanks to excellent case preparation, research and the conviction to take the case to trial for the best possible outcome to a horrible Port Of Miami, Florida incident.

The $4.5 million settlement agreement for the firm’s client, Willie Walker, compensates him for lost earnings from his $100,000 a year job, medical expenses and pain and suffering when the longshoreman working on a top-loader, fell thirteen feet after a hole drilled to run wires underground by a contractor for Florida Power & Light gave in around the surrounding area on July 31, 2004.

Mr. Walker needed surgery to remove and fuse damaged discs in his back. He now walks with a limp, crippled for life.

LM&W took the case to court before a jury who awarded the settlement to Willie Walker on September 29, 2010.

The case was drug out because Florida Power & Light, who owned an easement on the land,  claimed they contracted the work out and it did not have a contract with the Port; that no such contract with The Port Of Miami existed. Florida Power & Light representatives testified to such before the judge, though they knew such a contract DID exist.

During the long period of denial, while trying to get the court to throw the case out, LM&W worked to get evidence in the case to prove otherwise. LM&W lawyer Michael Winkleman, head lawyer on the case along with Jason Margulies said that the document  “didn’t exist” until a subpoena to the county produced ,  “Agreement Between Miami-Dade County and Florida Power & Light Company,”. The document proved that Florida Light & Power effectively engaged in fraud to avoid paying damages to their client.

The Agreement, which states in part, “Compliance with Applicable Laws, Codes, Etc. While conducting any activity on the Port, FPL agrees that it and its employees, agents, affiliates, contractors, and guests shall comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, codes, rules, (and) ordinances…”, proved the relationship between all the parties and where the responsibility for the accident rested.

Florida Power & Light was ordered to pay 15 percent of the award with the rest from the utility’s contractor Danella Construction Corp and subcontractor. Danella was ordered to pay 52.5 percent, and shipping company Universal Maritime/Maersk 32.5 percent. Instead, however, Walker and the defendants settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Job well done by this highly qualified Jones Act, cruise ship, seaman and longshoreman case law firm.

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