Stevedore Suffers Injuries in Slip and Fall Accident

A maritime worker, who was injured in a slip and fall accident on a cargo vessel, has won the first step in her attempt to recover compensation from the owner of the vessel. Deborah Stringfellow was working as a winch driver aboard the Bereederungsgesellschaft H. Vogemann GmbH (BHV). On the day of the accident, she slipped on some slippery, oily substance on the stairs, and fell down. She suffered injuries in the accident. There were several other longshoremen and supervisors who witnessed her fall. The crewmembers of the vessel were shown the slippery substance, and after, that it was cleaned up. Stringfellow filed a Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act claim against BHV alleging that the company was liable for negligence in her injuries. BHV moved for summary judgment, and claimed that before Stringfellow's shift began on the day of the accident, there was no oil on the deck on the vessel. However, the court has now held that there is a question of fact about whether BHV may have violated its duty of providing a safe work condition to Stringfellow, and that this caused the accident. The company's motion for summary judgment has been denied. The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act provides for maritime compensation to longshoremen, dockworkers and other non-Jones Act seamen who are injured while on duty. Workers who are covered under the LHWCA may include shipyard workers and other workers involved in shipbuilding and the ship repair industry, port workers, truck drivers and workers in several other occupations. These workers are typically not eligible for compensation under the Jones Act. They are covered under the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act, which has some similarities with Workers' Compensation.

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