Millions Recovered

  • $5,400,000.00 settlement involving a seaman who fell from a stairway during fire and boat drill aboard a container ship sustaining quadriplegic injuries. Partners Mellusi and Shisha personally inspected the vessel taking hundreds of measurements and still and videos of every stairway in the ship’s main deck house. The data was compared with the vessel’s design plans in our library which demonstrated the vessel had been negligently constructed in that it failed to follow the naval architect’s original design specifications.
  • $4,400,000.00 jury award to a former shipmate who sustained a shoulder injury while at sea. The third mate had to undergo multiple surgeries and will not be able to become a captain because of the injury.
  • $2,400,000 jury award to a licensed marine engineer who sustained permanent knee injuries while attempting to remove a 200 lb. valve from an overhead piping system. Partner Mellusi personally inspected the ship’s engine room taking detailed photos and measurements. A duplicate valve was obtained from a maritime junkyard and was brought into court along with an auto-shop mechanical hoist capable of lifting it 12 feet to demonstrate the vessel lacked suitable means to perform this work safely. The jury award was in top ten verdicts in the United States for a comparable knee injury. The case was tried to verdict in a New York Federal Court.
  • $2,980,000.00 jury award to a ship’s cook for back injury resulting from insufficient procedures for moving ship stores. Case tried in New York federal court.
  • $2,700,000.00 settlement to a mate on a Tanker vessel who sustained multiple fractures.
  • $2,000,000.00 was awarded to a barge deckhand – wrongful death.
  • $1,827,000 awarded to a marine engineer working on a US Government supply vessel who fell into an unguarded ventilation fan causing neck, shoulder and hand injuries. The case was tried non-jury before a federal judge in Baltimore Federal Court. The court award was subsequently determined to be within the highest ten verdicts for the State of Maryland in 2009.
  • $1,200,000.00 jury award to a ship’s Bosun who sustained shoulder and neck injuries while attempting to move plywood sheets on main deck of vessel during 40 knot winds. Case tried in New York Federal Court.
  • $950,000 awarded to passenger killed when his recreational boat came into collision with tow wire of tug and barge
  • $850,000 settlement, Federal Court Allentown PA., to seaman sustained herniated disk while lifting a 110 lbs crane hooks.
  • $840,000 jury award to a seaman who fell from ladder while painting sustaining fractured wrist.
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Workers' compensation benefits available to injured longshore and harbor workers

The U.S. Maritime Industry encompasses some 400,000 sea vessels. While hundreds of thousands of men and women work aboard these vessels, hundreds of thousands more work from shore to support the operations of sea vessels. For the individuals who are employed as construction workers, longshoremen, ship builders, ship maintenance workers and crane operators; the hours are long and the work is often physical and dangerous.

Much like the Jones Act helps provide compensation for injured seamen, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act provides workers' compensation benefits to injured longshore and harbor workers. An employee covered under the LHWCA may be able to recover benefits in the event he or she is injured while performing work-related duties or develops an illness or medical condition due to exposure to certain occupational toxins and chemicals.

In the event an individual who is covered under the LHWCA suffers an injury that will result in lost work hours, an employer is required to report the injury to the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs and also provide the injured worker with the necessary paperwork to file an official claim. The injured worker then has the option of seeking medical care from an employer-affiliated doctor or one of his or her own choosing.

Under LHWCA, an injured employee is entitled to pay equal to two-thirds of his or her working wage amount during the time in which medical treatment for an injury is ongoing. In the event an employee's injuries prevent a return to work, a disabled worker should be able to recover compensation equal to two-thirds of his or her earning capacity.

For the men and women who work to build and maintain U.S. sea vessels and load and unload the goods they transport, work conditions are often hazardous and injuries can be common. A work injury can not only be painful, but may also result in permanent disability of a harbor construction worker or longshore worker. In cases where a worker encounters difficulty in obtaining compensation under the LHWCA or disputes the amount provided, an attorney can assist.

Source: Maritime Injury Guide, "Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)," 2015

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Rated By Superlawyer Ralph J Mellusi Rated By Superlawyer Ralph J Mellusi
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