Jones Act claims by maritime worker. $2.2M. Los Angeles County.


Barge worker says his injury resulted from unsafe conditions of equipment aboard his vessel.

The Case

  • Case Name: David Lacy v. Manson Construction Company
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC621066
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, February 16, 2018
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, May 19, 2016
  • Type of Case: Maritime (See also "Boating")
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Randy Rhodes
  • Plaintiffs:
    David Lacy, 42, deckhand.
  • Defendants:
    Manson Construction Company
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $2,249,082
  • Net Verdict or Award: $1,911,719
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 15% to plaintiff; 85% to defendant.
  • Economic Damages:


  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 15 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Krissman and Silver LLP by Joel Krissman, Long Beach.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:
  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Cox, Wootton, Lerner and Griffin,LLP by Richard Wootton and Max Kelley, San Francisco.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Michael Feldman, M.D., hand surgery, Beverly Hills.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Ross Nathan, M.D., hand surgery, Long Beach.

    Frank Mainzer, M.D., radiology, San Francisco.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Keith Kidwell, marine construction.

    John Brault, walking/working surface safety, Mission Viejo.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    In-house employee experts.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff David Lacy sued his maritime employer, Manson Construction Company under the Federal Jones Act for negligence and a cause of action for unseaworthy conditions of the derrick barge vessel he was working on during his shift of March 6 2014. Plaintiff alleged he sustained right wrist injuries during a maintenance operation of the crane's clam bucket connections while dredging in the Port of Long Beach.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff contended that the vessel's decking lacked a proper non-skid surface and that the equipment which retained the cable wire for the clam bucket was overly worn;  that together, these two conditions made it very difficult for him to safely perform the assigned task, resulting in injuries of torn connective tissue attachments to the radial ulna joint of his right wrist. Plaintiff also contended that his maritime employer negligently assigned him on two occasions to work that exceeded his medical restrictions and further aggravated his wrist injuries.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant denied all of plaintiff's contentions and asserted that plaintiff's injuries were nothing more than a right wrist strain with some tendonitis, sustained doing the normal heavy work of a deckhand. Defendant denied it was negligent, and asserted that the vessel's deck surface and equipment were entirely proper and safe for use as intended. Defendant claimed that plaintiff was not truthful in his allegations. Defendant claimed plaintiff did not require surgery and disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff's claimed damages.

    Defendant alleged that if any unsafe or improper work conditions existed, which defendant specifically denied, it was the responsibility of the plaintiff deckhand to use his "Stop Work" authority and seek help or guidance from his superiors and crew.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Tears of the radial and ulna attachments and tendon to the TFCC (triangular fibrocartilage complex) of the right wrist. Plaintiff underwent three surgical repairs and alleged a fourth surgery will likely be required within the next 15 years.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: None submitted; paid by defendant.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $68,882
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $170,033
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $1,510,167