${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}

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.
Practice Areas Menu

Hundreds of ship passengers feared dead after ship capsizes in Yangtze River

The search and rescue mission to save passengers from the capsized Chinese ship the Oriental Star, has now largely turned into a recovery operation as hopes of finding survivors dim. At the time the river boat capsized, it was traveling on China's massive Yangtze River near the country's Three Gorges Dam with a total of 456 people onboard.

The Chinese government has restricted access to the area, allowing only reporters from state-run media affiliates to visit and report from the accident scene. So far, a total of 26 fatalities and the rescues of 14 people have been confirmed. For the family members of those still missing, hope has turned to despair as they await confirmation of their loves ones' drowning deaths.

Many questions remain about what factors may have contributed to the cruise ship’s capsizing. While the Chinese government has reported that the ship encountered hurricane-force winds and even a possible tornado prior to the accident, questions related to the experience-level of the ship's crew and actions of the surviving captain must also be answered.

Reports of rampant safety issues that plague many of the ships that carry tourists up and down the Yangtze must also be closely examined. For example, in 2013 "the Nanjing Maritime Bureau found that six of 10 Yangtze cruise ferries had safety problems." Some speculate that such safety problems are tied to the economic difficulties within the river ferry tourism industry as the number of tourists that pay to travel aboard the Yangtze ships has dwindled in recent years.

The U.S.-based Worldwide Ferry Safety Association reports that, worldwide, more than 16,800 people were reported as dead or missing in ferry accidents from 2000 to September of 2014. Individuals who are adversely impacted by these types of tragedies deserve to know what happened and may choose to take legal action in cases where crew members lacked experience, a ship wasn't properly maintained or a captain made fatal errors.

Source: The New York Times, "Oriental Star Accident Highlights Increase in Safety Problems on Yangtze Cruises," Ian Johnson and Keith Bradsher, June 2, 2015

The New York Times, "China Keeps Lid on Information, as Hopes Dim in Yangtze Ship Disaster," Edward Wong and Austin Ramzy, June 3, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Let Us Help You

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Maritime FAQ

How do I know if I need an attorney?

Because of the complexities of Admiralty and Maritime Law, virtually all situations involving bodily injury and death require a timely consult with experienced maritime counsel.

Get More Answers

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