Fraser Shipyards announced that it and other defendants have reached a settlement of all claims resolving lawsuits stemming from worker exposure to lead during a project involving a Great Lakes freighter that was receiving a new power plant. The Superior firm agreed to settlements with more than 60 workers who were involved in a 2016 engine repowering project for the freighter Herbert C. Jackson at Fraser’s Superior yards.
The lawsuit involves lead exposure. The settlement totals $7.5 million, according to the plaintiff's law firm, Rapoport Law Offices. OSHA also assessed charges with Fraser and collected penalties of $700,000.
“We believe that this settlement, which resolves all outstanding claims, is in the best interests of all parties,” said James Farkas, president and chief operating officer of Fraser Industries, the parent company of Fraser Shipyards. “This agreement, and earlier settlement agreements with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reached with input from unions representing our workers, ensures that we can move forward with a strong commitment to employee protection and business viability, in partnership with OSHA and everyone who earns a living at our 126-year-old family-owned company in Superior. Our business depends on taking the health and safety of our people seriously.”