Legal Updates on Maritime Workers' Personal Injury Claims: Taylor v. B&J Martin



 Taylor v. B&J Martin, Inc. is a federal court case out of New Orleans federal court. This case shows how Jones Act employers seek to blame seamen for their injuries and that safety policies are crucial for the health and wellbeing of all crewmembers aboard. See the full story. 

Taylor’s Personal Injury Case

Taylor worked for B&J Marine as the captain aboard the fishing vessel DUSTY DAWN.  As he was exiting the wheelhouse to check on the anchor, the captain stepped on a BIC lighter that was left on the deck. Taylor lost his balance and fell backward onto the stairs sustaining a severe spinal injury. Critically, Taylor was wearing Crocs and not shoes with slip-resistant soles.

The captain filed suit against his employer for:

B&J contended that its safety manual requires crewmembers to wear footwear that is appropriate for the job they are completing, and had Taylor been wearing shoes with slip-resistant soles, like white shrimp boats, the accident would not have occurred.

Jones Act Negligence Claim

The Court found that Taylor was the captain of the vessel and should have been aware of the company safety policies requiring slip-resistant shoes outside of living quarters. Not only that, but Taylor was found in violation of these safety policies and was attributed 100% fault for causing his own accident.

Jones Act seamen should be aware that in the case of an accident, vessel employers will always try to find a way to blame them for their own injuries to avoid liability. Crewmembers can oppose this practice by seeking legal advice.

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