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Freehill Obtains Reversal of $4.8M Judgment in Supreme Court of Alabama

In June 2008 two line handlers were assisting the tanker M/T GLENROSS from a 17’ boat when the mooring line they were handling was reeled in, instead of being let out, causing both men to fall from the boat. One line handler was injured, while the other drowned. Suit was brought against the line handlers’ employer and the vessel in the Mobile Circuit Court. Prior to trial the Circuit Court ruled as matter of law that the two plaintiffs were harbor workers and not seaman, and the jury awarded the two a total of $4.8M in damages. FHM was brought into the case as co-counsel on the appeal to the Supreme Court of Alabama. In February 2014 FHM succeeded in obtaining a reversal of the judgment and a remand to the Circuit Court, for a new trial for a determination by a jury of whether the two plaintiffs were harbor workers or seaman, a determination critical to the amount of damages available. Freehill attorney: Mark Muller, with local counsel Warhurst & Buffalow.