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Why A Deadliest Catch Deckhand Is Suing Sig Hansen's Company

A deckhand working on the fishing vessel Northwestern, which frequently appears on the Discovery hit "Deadliest Catch," has filed a personal injury lawsuit against the ship's owners. Alaska Public Media reports that deckhand Nick Mavar Jr. filed a civil suit against Hansen Enterprises, Inc. — which includes the ship's captain and "Deadliest Catch" star Sig Hansen — in December 2022 in Washington State's King County Superior Court. 

In the brief, as quoted by Alaska Public Media, Mavar Jr. explains that during a December 2020 voyage with the show's crew aboard the boat, Mavar Jr. began to experience worsening abdominal pain while working. He claims that he was not given adequate medical treatment in time, resulting in his appendix bursting before he was airlifted to a local hospital for treatment. It was later discovered that there was a cancerous tumor within the ruptured organ. 

"The delay in competent and adequate examination, testing, and diagnosis caused (Mavar's) appendix to rupture resulting in horrendous and chronic infections, surgeries, and cancer treatment that would not have occurred had the appendix been removed prior to rupture," the filing explains. It adds that Mavar Jr. has been left disabled by the incident, which required him to spend time in the hospital due to the aforementioned repeated infections and for subsequent surgeries and cancer treatment. He's seeking $1 million in damages. 

Nick Mavar Jr.'s injury was depicted in an episode of The Deadliest Catch

Hansen Enterprise's legal issues don't end there. In the wake of Nick Mavar Jr.'s suit, Hansen Enterprises Inc. filed a civil lawsuit against Original Productions Inc and Trifecta Solutions LLC on April 26, 2023. Original Productions Inc. produces "Deadliest Catch," and Trifecta Solutions LLC is a contractor responsible for providing onboard healthcare to The Northwestern's crew and maintaining the ship's safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. Citing Mavar Jr.'s suit, they claim the production company ought to be liable instead of Hansen Enterprises for Mavar Jr.'s pain, disability and suffering, as well as any attorney's fees that result from the suits. They also claim that the Covid protocols created by Trifecta Solutions resulted in Mavar Jr.'s receiving delayed help and that the ship's medic failed to diagnose Mavar Jr.'s pain with proper haste. Both suits agree that there was a lack of planning involved for medical emergencies during the Covid-19 pandemic, which required outside help. As of press time, both lawsuits remain pending.

Crews working on "Deadliest Catch" have previously spoken about the cramped quarters and lack of sleep crewmembers endure to be a part of the program. And all of that pain and suffering often ends up grist for the mill of the show's producers. Incredibly enough, Nick Mavar Jr.'s emergency evacuation from the decks of the Northwestern made it into a 2021 episode of "Deadliest Catch." During the Season 17 episode "Of Ice and Men," a truncated version of events play out. In the clip, Sig Hansen describes Nick Mavar Jr. as one of his best friends. That just goes to show that all's fair in love and money.