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Floor Hand Suffered Facial Fractures and Brain Damage

A floor hand on an inland drilling barge suffered facial fractures and brain damage when a joint of casing struck him across the face. Finding liability under the Jones Act and pursuant to the maritime doctrine of unseaworthiness, the trial court awarded damages fully compensating the worker for these disabling injuries. Kopfler defeated the barge owner’s efforts to limit its liability to the value of the vessel, opening the way for the severely injured worker to receive fair and just compensation.