Largest Reported NJ Personal Injury Settlement during the Court’s 2022-2023 term

Chef Falls From Yacht—$3,700,000 Settlement

The Edgewater Marina hauled out a yacht onto the dock with two passengers still on the boat, including our client, a 45-year-old chef. When she tried to get off the yacht, she slipped from the yacht’s ladder and fell eight feet. Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. Partner Samuel L. Davis proved that the Edgewater Marina had violated Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, securing our client a $3,700,000 settlement.

The woman’s friend, the owner of the yacht, asked her to help him clean the yacht before he docked it at the marina. While she cleaned, her friend directed the boat to the travel lift, a machine used to hoist boats out of the water. The travel lift operator, who was an Edgewater Marina employee, hauled the boat out of the water while our client and the owner were still on the yacht. Once the yacht was on land, the owner used a ladder to descend onto land. Our client, who was intoxicated at the time, also began to descend, but she fell and hit her head on the pavement.

The client was taken by ambulance to the Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, New Jersey. Her head injuries included a left temporal lobe hemorrhagic contusion, and a large hematoma with midline shift. To treat her injuries, she underwent an autologous cranioplasty and a craniectomy with hematoma evacuation and microdissection. After her surgeries, our client suffered from aphasia, hallucinations, and deteriorated cognitive functioning. She developed depression, anxiety, and struggled with concentration and auditory processing.

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. hired medical experts to author narrative reports proving the permanent nature of our client’s injuries. Their reports helped show our client was entitled to financial compensation for her loss in income, medical bills, and pain and suffering. The firm also retained an economics expert to assess the financial loss suffered by our client who determined that the accident reduced her total future earning capacity by several hundred thousand dollars.

The firm also hired a marine engineering expert to assess liability in this incident. The expert determined that the marina had violated several OSHA regulations in allowing passengers to stay aboard a vessel during haul-out. The expert also found that they had broken safety rules published by the travel lift’s manufacturer, which prohibited the use of a portable stepladder. Partner Samuel L. Davis also retained a boatyard business and operations expert, who found that the marina was negligent for allowing passengers to stay aboard while the yacht was being moved by a travel lift. The expert also determined that the boatyard had failed to properly train its employees in proper safety procedures.

Lastly, Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. hired a toxicologist to assess our client’s level of intoxication at the time of the accident. The expert determined that, while her intoxication was a contributing factor to her fall, it could have been prevented if the marina and the yacht owner followed safety standards.

With the help of the compiled expert reports, Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. Partner Samuel L. Davis was able to ensure our client was properly compensated for her injuries, pain, and suffering. He sued the Edgewater Marina, the Borough of Edgewater, and the yacht owner in the Bergen County Superior Court. The case went to trial, and Partner Sam Davis secured our client a $3,700,000 settlement.

Settlements are often limited by the total available insurance coverage. Insurance company adjusters and their lawyers often defend cases by claiming that a client was negligent and could have avoided being injured by arguing comparative negligence on the part of an injured client; or that their pain and suffering was caused by pre-existing medical conditions or prior injuries. Despite those defenses, the Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, PC lawyers won their client’s injury claim. Each client’s case is unique. Results may differ because of different facts, circumstances and available insurance coverage.

Call us now for a free and confidential case evaluation. We are also available 24/7 online at our website,


Medical Glossary

Aphasia: A condition where a person has trouble comprehending language.

Autologous Cranioplasty: A surgical procedure that uses your own bone to repair a cranial defect.

Contusion: A contusion, also known as a bruise, shows up on injured tissue or skin where blood capillaries have ruptured. This happens after the body experiences a direct blow.

Craniectomy: A craniectomy is a surgical procedure that removes part of the patient’s skull, in order to relieve pressure and swelling in that area.

Hematoma: A blood-filled swelling that occurs when a blood vessel breaks or begins leaking.

Hemorrhage: A hemorrhage is bleeding that occurs from a damaged blood vessel.

Microdissection: A surgical technique that involves a microscope.