A while back, Deckboss noted a costly jury verdict against Icicle Seafoods Inc. in connection with a worker who suffered a back injury aboard the company's processing barge, the Bering Star.
Now, a Seattle judge has ruled emphatically against Icicle's request to have a $1.3 million punitive damages award reduced or tossed out.
King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill was scathing in his assessment of the way Icicle handled plaintiff Dana Clausen's claim for medical benefits.
"The defendant preyed upon a man incapable of work living in a broken down old RV," the judge wrote. "The defendant did it intentionally, repeatedly, over a period of years, and the purpose of its malicious actions was corporate profit. Moreover, while doing this, the defendant was subject to a stringent legal duty to do just the opposite — to carefully care for Mr. Clausen. Thus, a large punitive damage award is fully supported by the law."
Interestingly, Icicle attempted to use the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case as an argument for cutting or killing the punitive damages award.
Clausen's law firm, Beard Stacey & Jacobsen, has commentaries about this case on its blog.
Deckboss, of course, would welcome and post Icicle's side of the story.