PORTLAND, Maine — A federal jury will decide whether the company that owns a Portland dock was responsible for the injuries that resulted in the death of a Greek port captain, or whether Ioannis Zagklara caused or contributed to the crushing accident that killed him.
The trial, which began Monday in federal court in Portland before U.S. District Judge George Singal, is expected to last eight days, according to information available through the federal court’s Electronic Case Filing system.
Zagklara, 67, of Athens, Greece, died March 13, 2009, on the operating table at Maine Medical Center, according to trial briefs filed last month. He suffered a massive, crushing injury on Oct. 6, 2008, while offloading rock salt from the bulk carrier Calypso N at the Merrill Marine Terminal in Portland. The captain underwent more than 22 operations and/or procedures including the amputation of a leg at the hip joint, according to court documents.
His widow, Eirini Zagklara of Athens, Greece, sued Sprague Energy Corp., which owns the dock, in September 2010 in Cumberland County Superior Court. The following month, Sprague Energy had the case moved to federal court in Portland.
She is seeking more than $1.2 million in medical expenses, lost future earnings of $202,000 and funeral expenses of $16,000. Her attorneys claimed that the accident was caused by the crane operator hired by Sprague Energy.
Sprague Energy, based in Portsmouth, N.H., in turn sued Amanda Shipping Co., the Greek firm that employed Capt. Zagklara, and the ship’s owners, Leopard Shipping Co. Ltd. and Nomoikos Transworld Maritime Agencies S.A., both of Greece. Sprague claimed in its trial brief that Zagklara was pinned against the rail of the vessel when he lost control of a power reel box while trying to move it.
The shipping firms claim they are not liable for damages under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.