Broward electrician Martin Card, who worked for Florida Bow Thrusters, was awarded a $1.575-million-dollar settlement. Card fell eight feet from a ladder on an 83-foot yacht in River Bend Marina in Fort Lauderdale on April 8, 2014.
The marine center agreed to pay $750,000 to resolve the personal injury suit, and the vessel’s owner, Jorge Mufarech, and Capt. Manuel Hernandez agreed to pay $825,000. Although the vessel’s owner was not present during the accident, the lawyers argued that he was liable for the accident as the captain was acting on his behalf.
According to The Daily Business Review
, lawyers Thomas Scolaro and Justin B. Shapiro from Leesfield Scolaro in Miami argued that Card would not have received “severe and permanent injuries” if the marina had used the correct ladder. The complaint alleged that the marina ladder — an extension ladder set up at the vessel’s rear — was unstable, not secured in any way to the vessel, and was placed on a “wet, sandy gravel surface.” The complaint also alleged that there was no other way to board the vessel apart from using the ladder and that after the accident, the unstable ladder was switched for a more stable rolling ladder.
The electrician, who reportedly was not very familiar with boats, then fell eight feet to the ground, injuring his left sacroiliac joint, which reportedly connects the spine to the hips. The injury led to an invasive joint fusion surgery and Card’s medical expenses reportedly totaled $115,000. It was also argued that the accident set Card back financially and professionally.