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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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Falling accidents do not always happen above deck

If you are like other people in New York City, you may have decided to pursue a career at sea. The rolling ocean waves, the salty air and ability to travel to foreign places are big allures but there are also a lot of risks for injury. Here at Tabak Mellusi & Shisha LLP, we know that a sudden accident can end your dream of sailing the high seas and that not all accidents occur above deck.

According to Gard insurance, even tasks within a ship’s enclosed spaces, including tanks, can easily become the scene of a workplace accident, especially if ship operators and owners fail to take preventative steps to protect you. Falls are a big problem, since most companies do not really think about the possibility. One seaman lost his life when he fell inside a tank. The cause was an open maintenance access in the stringer plate, which was not secured before he climbed down the first ladder.

It is important that inspections are made before work on tanks or other spaces below deck is begun to identify any hazards that exist. These hazards could include the following:

  •          Pipes
  •          Slippery surfaces on ladder rungs, surfaces and decks
  •          Structural arrangement that poses a risk of injury
  •          Tight hatchways

If hazards are found, you, as a worker, should be provided personal gear like a safety harness, hard helmet, gloves or other items; temporary handrails should be installed so that you have something to grab if you start losing your balance; markings should be placed to warn you of a dangerous area; and extra lighting should be brought in or installed so that you can see what you are doing in the space. For more information on the risks seamen face, please visit our web page. 

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