A court in the US has awarded more than $1m to a former Horizon Lines master who was sacked in 2013 following a whistleblowing incident. Captain John Loftus was removed from his post three years ago, having worked for the American line for 20 years. He had reported safety violations on the ship he’d been working for, the Horizon Trader boxship, to the US Coast Guard and class society ABS.
“Loftus resorted to reporting safety concerns to the regulatory agencies because of Horizon’s consistent failure to correct hazardous conditions aboard the Trader. Loftus was clearly a thorn in Horizon’s side,” a judge noted in a detailed 48-page ruling.
Loftus has been awarded $655,000 in back wages, $225,000 in punitive damages, $10,000 for emotional distress, and more than $200,000 in legal costs.