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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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How is a seaman protected if injured on the job?

Being injured on the job can be devastating physically and financially for anyone in New York. If you are a seaman who has been hurt in the line of duty, you are not covered under the workers’ compensation laws that protect most employees on land. However, in many circumstances, your employer may still be liable to pay the resulting medical costs, living expenses and lost wages.

The United States Courts for the Ninth Circuit explain that once you have proved certain facts to the jury, you are entitled to certain financial compensation. You must be able to provide evidence that the money is owed to you. You must also prove that the harm occurred while you were performing work responsibilities for the vessel and under the employment of its company.

You are not automatically disqualified from receiving compensation if your accident was due to your own carelessness. However, if you were performing your duties while intoxicated, or you were engaged in some other form of intentional misconduct such as horseplay, your employer does not owe you compensation.

If the jury rules in your favor, your employer’s responsibility includes paying for your medical expenses such as doctor’s appointments, examinations, medication and hospitalization. These costs are known as “cure.” You may also be eligible to receive compensation for living expenses such as room and board, which are included in “maintenance” costs. However, while you are hospitalized you would not receive money for room and board since these are provided by the health care facility during your stay.

Maintenance and cure are only awarded to cover expenses that you sustain from the time your ship left land until the time when a health care provider indicates you have reached the best recovery possible. They do not include any lost wages.

If your injury becomes worse because your employer refused to pay the money owed to you, the company may be responsible for the extended costs of care, as well as the original settlement. This is not a complete listing of the conditions that could affect a maintenance and cure case. Therefore, the information should not be interpreted as legal advice. 

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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