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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.
  • $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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Mayor de Blasio announces NYC ferry expansion plans

In 2013 the U.S. Census Bureau reported that New York City was home to an estimated 8.4 million people. The most significant increases to the city's population have occurred in the outlying boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. While NYC's subway system is among the most extensive and widely-traveled in the world, for residents who live outside of Manhattan, opportunities for economic advancement can be limited.

Current NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio recently unveiled his plans for how to more easily and readily connect residents in Queens and Brooklyn to the job opportunities in Manhattan. So far, the Mayor's plans to expand the city's ferry service to include service to all five boroughs have received a luke-warm reception.

De Blasio's plans include expenditures of $75 million to build terminals and in fare subsidies. In total officials estimate that annual ridership numbers via ferry would grow to 4.6 million and, for many residents, commute times to Manhattan could be reduced by 50 percent.

Currently, roughly 22 million people ride the city's Staten Island ferry annually and another 10 million ride the Hudson River ferries which transport residents from New Jersey to NYC. Plans for ferry route expansion include routes from lower and midtown Manhattan to neighborhoods including Astoria, Bay Bridge, Red Hook, Cobble Hill and the Rockaways.

While it remains to be seen whether all of de Blasio's plans for ferry expansion come to fruition; along with economic concerns, more ferries and increased ridership also presents safety concerns. While people tend to romanticize traveling via ferry, individuals who work or are passengers aboard any sea vessel are vulnerable to suffering injuries related to slippery surfaces, malfunctioning equipment, falling objects as well as those that may result from a crash.

Source: Bloomberg Business, "No Subway, No Problem as New York Plots Ferry Expansion," Martin Z. Braun, Feb. 17, 2015

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