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Verdicts: Robin Mraz v. Catalina Express

$1.5 Million Verdict Affirmed On Appeal

Robin Mraz worked as a cabin attendant for Catalina Express. Over several years she sustained several injuries. First, she injured her back jumping from the boat to the dock at the end of her shift after the crew removed the boarding ramp in order to wash the ship down. Second, she further injured her back while sitting on a hatch that was popping up in rough seas. Third, as a result of cumulative trauma, she sustained bilateral carpal tunnel injuries and a shoulder injury.

After a court trial, the retired Supreme Court Justice serving as judge ruled in Ms. Mraz favor. The judge found under maritime law (the Jones Act) that the defendant was liable because of its negligence and the unseaworthy condition of the boats. In an unprecedented finding, the judge found the defendant liable for its negligence in not making the workplace safer, resulting in the cumulative trauma injuries. Even after Catalina Express appealed, the appellate court affirmed the $1.5 million verdict.

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