A family filed a $3 million wrongful death lawsuit against the O’Hara Corp., Eastern Fisheries Inc., and R.C.P. Realty LLC in the death of a Gloucester fisherman. Guiseppe “Joe” Cracchiolo, a long-time fisherman, died in January 2011 after slipping off an icy ramp and falling 20 feet into the water at New Bedford Harbor when boarding the herring boat on which he was working; he died from exposure to the freezing temperatures.
The victim was one of two crew members staying with the ship. The men went out for the evening, but the other fisherman returned several hours earlier. A surveillance camera shows that crew member jumping onto a wooden landing and then walking up a ramp onto the boat. When the victim returned around 1 a.m., the same video camera showed him slipping off the narrow walkway and into the water. The man’s body was found about 7:30 a.m. by his crew mate.
Discovery is underway with a potential trial date of Sept. 24, but U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock recently accelerated the trial schedule because Mr. Cracchiolo’s widow has been without income since her husband’s death and laden with “heavy financial and medical difficulties,” according the plaintiff’s attorney, Joseph Orlando.
The rights of fishermen are protected by the Jones Act, which makes boat owners responsible for the safety of their crews; they are obligated to alert employees about dangerous conditions. This case may be illustrative of the tactics that a corporate entity will resort to in order to cover up its own negligence and delay justice. They will deny, delay, and defend because their main goal is to protect profits. These tactics can often succeed because victims are so desperate for a settlement, that they are sometimes willing to accept a low settlement offer. Insurers know this, and therefore, we often see innocent people being forced to accept much lower than the case is worth.
It has, obviously, been a long, hard battle already for this family. We commend Judge Woodlock for expediting the trial and I wish the Cracchiolo family good luck in their pursuit of justice. Unfortunately, this woman has been financially strapped for over a year. Even with an expedited trial, there is no indication that this case will settle quickly or if the plaintiff is successful, the defendant won’t appeal. This case is indicative of previous advice provided at this location. Wrongful death cases are complicated, expensive, and time consuming; if litigation delays result in financial distress, a family such as this one often turns to a litigation funding company for financial assistance. A lawsuit cash advance against an expected settlement or award often sustains people, financially, who find themselves in this unfortunate situation. Lawsuit funding maybe used to pay urgent bills, funeral and burial expenses and other costs related to a loved one’s death. With pressing bills and obligations out of the way, family members can provide the time necessary for an attorney to achieve appropriate justice and compensation in the case.
Litigation funding is based solely on the merits of the lawsuit; credit rating or job status does not matter. The application process is usually simple and if approved, the lawsuit cash advance is often available within 24 – 48 hours. Because it is a non-recourse cash advance, if the plaintiff loses the case, the lawsuit cash advance is excused; repayment is not required. So, if you find yourself in a similar situation as Mrs. Cracchiolo, consider lawsuit funding from an experienced legal funding company to help sustain yourself and your family through the litigation process.
Source: Gloucester Times; “Judge puts wrongful fishing death suit on fast track”; Richard Gaines; June 7, 2012