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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.
  • $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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How misidentifying unsafe ship parts can turn deadly for crew

As you may or may not know, ship owners are required by law to maintain their vessels to ensure the safety of their crew. This includes everything from ensuring safe working conditions to repairing any unsafe equipment or mechanical parts on the ship. Failing to do so, as you can imagine, can have dire consequences for a ship owner and his or her crew.

As one case illustrates, misidentifying ship parts as safe when they are clearly not safe can have deadly consequences. The case we are referring to is that of the ship known as the El Faro, which sank during a hurricane in October 2015. All 33 crewmembers went down with the ship, leading to an investigation that uncovered a serious mistake.

According to a report in the Claims Journal, engineers cleared the ship for its voyage even though some of the ships parts "had deteriorated severely." Even though engineers thought the ship was seaworthy, its eventual sinking during the storm proved that it was not, which was a costly mistake.

A case like this illustrates the importance of not only keeping a ship in working condition but not ignoring damaged ship parts, no matter how innocuous they may seem. Many cargo ships have very complex systems that require all parts to be in working order in order to prevent a disaster from occurring. In many cases, if one system or part fails, lives can be lost if a ship capsizes or sinks due to an inability to control the ship properly.

Though a wrongful death claim against a negligent ship owner will not bring back a loved one who has died because a vessel sank, the civil action might at least bring the victim's family a sense of justice and closure in the end.

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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