Deadly Sinking of Washington Crab Boat Ends in Over $9 Million Settlement

The Seattle Times has reported a settlement of over $9 million that was reached for the deadly sinking of the Scandies Rose crab boat off the coast of Alaska. The incident occurred on December 31, 2020.

Incidents like this are inexcusable. Maritime workers are entitled to a safe work environment, meaning a vessel must be seaworthy to operate. In the case that a vessel is found to be unseaworthy and results in injury to crew members, seamen have rights and are protected under federal benefits of the Jones Act to be compensated with maintenance and cure, an allowance that covers daily expenses and medical bills, even if the owner is found to not be at fault.  

The survivors of this tragic incident brought a claim against the owner “for all damages permissible under the law,” saying that the vessel had issues with a previous repair and also that the weather forecast called for dangerous icy conditions that threatened the boat and the crew’s safety prior to setting sail. Even with these claims, the owners have maintained that their vessel was in fact seaworthy.

The case was set to go to trial next spring to determine exact damages under a federal judge, but has instead ended with a settlement of over $9 million from insurance that will be split between the survivors and families of the five deceased. While this may be considered a victory for those who survived and for those families of the men who died, it is nothing compared to what was lost. Vessel owners should be thorough and well-versed in what it takes to maintain a seaworthy vessel, and if they are negligent they will be held accountable. GLP Attorneys has extensive experience dealing with maritime injuries and is here for those who need our expertise in cases like this one.

Our thoughts go out to those survivors and families of the crew members killed.  

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