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  • $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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After fatal accident, families of 3 tugboat crew members search for answers

With so many unknown and constantly changing variables, on a daily basis; the men and women who work aboard boats and sea vessels of all sizes put their health, safety and very lives at risk. Residents in the New York City area were recently reminded of just how dangerous this line of work can be after an accident on the Hudson River claimed the lives of three tugboat crew members.

According to The New York Times, the tragic tugboat accident occurred just after 5 a.m. on Saturday March 12, about 20 miles north of the Bronx at the Tappan Zee Bridge. Officials report that the tugboat was "escorting a barge carrying a tower crane down the Hudson River" when the boat struck a stationary construction barge near the bridge.

After the collision, workers who were aboard other boats in the area attempted to reach and save the three crew members, but were unfortunately unable to do so in time. All three of the men, including the boat’s 62-year-old captain and two 29 and 56-year-old crew members, were killed in the accident.

An investigation into what factors may have contributed to the fatal accident is currently underway. Prior to the crash, radio dispatchers had apparently been in contact with the tugboat's crew who were described as being "aware their vessel was too close to the barge." All three of the deceased crew members were described as being "experienced mariners and loyal employees."

In the wake of these types of tragic maritime accidents, family members often struggle to not only come to grips with the loss of their loved ones, but also with the financial burdens that result from their untimely deaths. In many cases, family members can recover compensation under the Jones Act and an attorney who handles wrongful death maritime and admiralty cases can provide advice and assistance.

Source: The New York Times, "One Dead and Two Missing After Tugboat Hits Barge Near Tappan Zee Bridge," Ashley Southall, March 12, 2016

The New York Times, "Body of Second Crew Member Is Recovered From Tugboat Crash Near Tappan Zee Bridge," Sarah Maslin Nir and Annie Correal, March 13, 2016

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