A Machias man who lost two fingers 1½ years ago when he was working at an ocean-based salmon farm has settled a lawsuit against his employer for an undisclosed amount.
Jesse Redman, 24, in October sued True North Salmon US Inc. and Cooke Aquaculture USA Inc. in U.S. District Court in Bangor. Redman sought $977,000 in lost earning capacity, nearly $34,000 in medical expenses and an unspecified amount for pain and suffering, according to court documents.
The settlement was reached Monday, according to court documents. The case had been scheduled to go to trial next month.
Redman’s attorney, Dov Sacks of Lewiston, and William Devoe of Bangor, who represents the salmon firms, described the settlement as fair in a joint statement.
“Although the terms of the settlement are confidential, the parties agree that Mr. Redman sustained a significant workplace injury and that the settlement fairly compensates him for his loss,” they said Thursday in an email. “Both parties believe in the importance of workplace safety, and in the significant contributions Maine’s maritime workers make to the health of Maine’s economy.”
Redman lost his middle and ring fingers on his right hand in an accident on Oct. 9, 2016, when he was working on a barge to remove salmon from pens located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Washington County, according to court documents.
Because there was no gangplank, Redman “was forced to grip a rope which ran between the barge and the pen in order to support himself back to the barge,” he alleged in the lawsuit. The site manager, whose view of Redman was obstructed, allegedly activated a winch attached to the rope Redman was holding on to. Redman’s right hand was pulled into the winch, which jammed.
Coworkers were able to cut the rope to remove Redman’s dominant hand from the winch, but the injury was severe, the complaint said. Redman suffered severe physical and emotional distress as a result of the accident.
If the case had gone to trial, Devoe would have presented evidence that Redman contributed to the accident because he left his workstation when he should not have, according to court documents.
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