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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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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.

Long hours and little time off are notorious at sea

Cruise ships need a massive amount of workers to run such large vessels. They need galley workers, cabin attendants, servers, deckhands, engine staff, entertainment staff, sports and fitness workers and so much more. Management push workers as hard as they can, demanding at least 10 to 12 hours a day, every day of the week.

In international waters cruise liners do not need to comply with U.S. labor laws and therefore can expect long hours legally from their staff. This is the same for all types of sea vessels on the water. Although cruise liners are expected to follow guidelines from the International Maritime Organization and the recommendations in the Safety of Life at Sea, most ships are virtually unregulated. Sometimes crew members are pressured into working "off the clock" to get their tasks done. While some employers are better than others, a few cruise liners push their workers to the point of exhaustion and injury.

Crewmembers can suffer both mental and physical injuries

Constant mental and physical exhaustion from working too hard can have negative effects on the minds and bodies of workers. Workers can develop mental health problems, which might be the cause of reoccurring crewmember suicides.

Long hours of manual labor can also cause physical trauma. Some workers develop cumulative injuries from years of working on cruise liners. This means that workers can develop back injuries, arthritis, and tendonitis over several years of laborious work. Other times crew members become so exhausted that it makes them prone to injury. Workers can get slip and fall injuries, burns, exposure to illness, and much more.

Workers can still get compensation, even if they are denied at first

Employers are responsible for keeping their workers safe. If an employer is pushing their workers to do unfair labor, which results in injury, then they can be held liable. If a worker in injured while on the clock then they can receive workers' compensation. Some employees will receive far too little for their injuries. Other employees are rejected all together because they are labeled as contract workers.

Anyone injured while working on a cruise ship can still receive the compensation that they deserve with the help of an attorney. Injured workers must give their employer a notice of a claim within six months of their accident. Crewmembers should always find an attorney experienced in maritime law, because their case will rely on the attorney's knowledge of maritime rules and the Jones Act.

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Rated By Superlawyer Ralph J Mellusi Rated By Superlawyer Ralph J Mellusi
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