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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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January 2017 Archives

When does maintenance and cure include punitive damages?

When your employer refuses to pay for the medical costs associated with your accident on the job as a seaman, it may seem as if the company is adding insult to injury. However, you may find that during your recovery in New York, the delays and difficulty you experience as a result of the hardship from the injury add further harm, as well. If you are able to prove that you qualify for compensation based on maintenance and cure, you may also be able to hold your employer responsible for those secondary damages.

The basics: Maintenance and cure for maritime workers

If you work at sea then you might already know that your job is dangerous. Between slippery decks, long exhausting hours and tumultuous weather it is easy to get injured at sea. That is why seamen, deckhands, engineers and other maritime workers are covered under the Jones Act. Anyone working at sea is at a higher risk of injury than those working on land. The Jones Act gives extra protections to maritime workers because of the dangerous nature of the job.

Careless captains jeopardize worker transport safety

While a typical commuter in New York might drive, take the subway or call for a ride-share driver, as a person who works at an offshore jobsite, your trip might necessarily be by boat. Just like the roads, the waters have lanes and routes that should be traveled, and a captain or crew member who is distracted or careless about following them may put you and your co-workers in danger. We at Tabak Mellusi & Shisha LLP have counseled many maritime workers who have suffered an injury as a result of an accident at sea.

Oil platform workers in Gulf of Mexico escape burning platform

An employee in any occupation or facility who encounters a blaze may be in danger, but as seamen in New York probably know, the chance of injuries from a fire while on the ocean may be much greater. In addition to the possibility of being burned, there is a risk of drowning during the effort to escape. When working with highly flammable substances such as oil, the hazards climb even more.

The not so glamorous life of working on a cruise ship

People imagine that working on a cruise ship is filled with fun, entertainment and exhilarating world travel. When job-seekers sign contracts to work on these vessels they are suddenly thrown into a much harsher reality. Many cruise ships push their crewmembers to the limit with hard labor and long hours. Some employees are brought to the point of exhaustion and injury.

The Longshore Act and vessels: important distinctions

A person who sustains an injury in the maritime industry in New York may not be eligible for traditional workers’ compensation benefits. However, the U.S. Department of Labor explains that the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act was designed to ensure that these employees who work on boats and other vessels still receive compensation to help cover the costs associated with an injury on the job. This legislation’s language has led to some confusion over the years, though, particularly in regards to the word “vessel.”

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