International maritime lawyers Jason R. Margulies and Michael A. Winkleman, of Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. , have secured the top verdict in Florida for admiralty and maritime law in 2012 for the case: William C. Skye v. Maersk Line Limited Corporation, doing business as Maersk Line Limited.
The verdict was published in the 'Daily Business Review' a legal and business periodical that ranks and publishes Florida Top Verdicts.
Attorneys Margulies and Winkleman secured the successful verdict on May 16, 2012 under the Jones Act for the plaintiff, William Skye, a commercial ship crew member who sustained permanent physical injuries to the heart as a result of the negligent working environment created by his employer, Maersk Line Limited.
Skye was employed as a Chief Mate onboard the commercial vessel, Sealand Pride, from October, 2000 to May, 2008. According to the lawsuit, the crew member was forced to work amidst unsafe conditions during his eight years onboard the vessel, which included 15-hour work days, a violation of maritime law.
Federal maritime law states that seafarers must be afforded a minimum amount of rest while working onboard a vessel in order to ensure the safety of the seaman and other crew members.
However, the lawsuit alleged Maersk failed to meet this and several other federal maritime safety standards, including the Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping, often referred to as the “STCW.” Because of the work environment Skye was repeatedly exposed to, the crew member developed a dangerous heart condition called Left Ventricular Hypertrophy.
Each maritime attorney on the case proved that Maersk created the dangerous environment, and allowed it to continue, causing the plaintiff’s injuries.
As a seaman, Skye is protected by the Jones Act , a federal law which allows seafarers who are injured due to their employer’s failure to provide a safe working environment to file a lawsuit against their employer to recover compensation for their injuries and for lost wages. Lipcon’s Jones Act lawyers successfully proved that Maersk repeatedly and systematically violated federal maritime laws, overworking Skye to the point where the demands of his position, coupled with the excessive work hours and lack of rest, led Skye to develop a serious, life threatening, career ending physical heart injury.
Due to the negligence of Maersk in overworking Skye, maritime attorneys Margulies and Winkleman were able to secure a reported verdict of $2,362,299 - the top admiralty and maritime verdict in 2012 .