Rivera vs. International Ships Services, Ltd. and Compania de Vapores Realma, S.A.
Dade County Case No. 83-32876
JONES ACT and UNSEAWORTHINESS: The plaintiff was employed as an assistant pantry man on the M.S. Dolphin. At the time of this accident, he was thirty-four years old and earning $250.00 per month. The plaintiff was a citizen of Honduras. The plaintiff claimed he was injured when he slipped and fell on soup which had been spilled on a ship’s stairway. The plaintiff claimed he was carrying a tray with glass shrimp cocktail cups which broke and cut two tendons and nerves on his dominant hand. Surgery was performed by DR. LEVIN at Coral Reef General Hospital. The plaintiff claimed he was rushed, that the ship’s elevator did not work, and that he had no safe alternative route. The defendants denied the existence of any spilled soup, and claimed the accident was caused solely by the plaintiff’s negligence. The defendants also claimed that even if there was spilled soup on the stairs, the plaintiff had a safe alternative route and that the plaintiff was not rushed. DR. GLATZER testified at trial that from an orthopedic point of view, he found no objective evidence of a permanent disability. DR. S. TICKTIN testified that the plaintiff suffered a 25% permanent disability of his dominant hand. The surgeon DR. LEVIN, not having examined the plaintiff for about three years could not give his opinion as to the plaintiff’s current condition.
Verdict for plaintiff: $200,000.00. The defendant International Ships Services, found 65% at fault. The defendant Compania de Vapores Realma, S.A. found to be 35% at fault. The plaintiff was found not to be comparatively negligent.