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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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Three companies sued over seaman's amputated foot

There is no question that working on a ship is dangerous. Ropes that contain thousands of pounds of pressure, heavy equipment that needs to be moved, slippery decks, narrow stairwells and deep tanks all pose risks of injury to those who work aboard. While some injuries received on a ship may be slight, like a sprained wrist or a bruised shoulder, others can leave men and women in New York unable to return to work and therefore support themselves and their families.

One seaman is asking a district court to award him more than $10 million to cover the medical costs, lost wages and other damages that resulted of a deck accident. The man claims that his accident was due to a slip-and-fall hazard that existed on the ship, poor maintenance of the same vessel, and a crew that was not properly instructed or trained. Three companies are named in the suit - Bertucci Marine LLC, Bertucci Contracting Co. LLC and Crosby Tugs LLC.

The man claims that his foot and part of his lower leg had to be amputated after the foot was crushed in an accident. There were no specifics provided about the initial event so it is unknown if an object was being moved and the crewmembers working with him pushed it accidently over his foot, or if something fell on it from above. What is known, is that the man states he is greatly embarrassed over the loss of his limb, has lost function of that limb, and suffers with mental and physical pain from the accident.

Under the Jones Act, those working on a vessel have the right to seek maintenance and cure benefits, and other damages. An attorney can help them understand what their options are.

Source: Louisiana Record, "Seaman seeks $10 million in damages from three companies after injury on vessel," Michael Abella, Nov. 30, 2016

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