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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What is the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act?

Maritime, offshore and longshore workers fall into a separate category than land workers. These groups of workers are entitled to different workers' compensation benefits than your typical worker. In order to ensure safe and fair working conditions at sea, on marinas or docks, certain acts have been put into place.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), was created for employees who are not at sea or work on an off shore oil rig, but are still considered a maritime worker.

What is the LHWCA?

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), provides injured longshore workers with benefits and medical assistance. This act is designed to protect land-based maritime workers and their families.

Who is covered under the LHWCA?

Not everyone is covered under this act. The act only covers long shore and harbor workers who work in shipyards, marinas, shipping docs or other marine locations. This can include:

  • Construction workers who work on building bridges, piers or other marine structures
  • Ship builders, maintenance crews or dock workers
  • Longshoremen working in cargo ship terminals
  • Civilian workers injured in war zones

If you are covered under this act and you've been injured, it would be beneficial to contact an experienced maritime attorney. They can help identify which benefits you are eligible for and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

What benefits are covered under the LHWCA?

Most workers typically receive:

  • Percentage of their weekly wages
  • Medical compensation
  • Disability benefits
  • If necessary, death compensation

It is important to note that the benefits for LHWCA are different from state workers' compensation benefits. In some cases, you are allowed to apply for both LHWCA and workers' compensation benefits. However, you are not allowed to "double dip," or receive benefits from both acts. Typically, LHWCA has slightly better benefits than state workers' compensation.

How to recover benefits under LHWCA

Typically, you will have one year from the time of injury to file a claim under the LHWCA. As soon as you notice an injury, it should be reported to your employer and medically examined. Even if you develop some type of illness that you believe has been caused from unsafe working conditions, this should also be reported.

A maritime lawyer can help you seek compensation from your employer. They will help protect your rights and make sure that you are being fairly compensated for your injury. An attorney can guide you through the process and address any questions or concerns you have.

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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.

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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