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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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Accident on tugboat leaves crew member without an arm

Working on a tugboat in New York Harbor presents unique challenges and hazards, as these vessels are designed to push or pull other vessels from place to place. Equipment and duties on a tugboat may put seamen at risk in cases of negligence, such as improperly performed maintenance or inadequate training for the jobs at hand.

A recent accident involving a tugboat is under investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard as authorities attempt to discover the circumstances that led to the serious injury of the operator. The New York Police Department responded to the call reporting the incident and upon boarding the boat, they discovered that the lower portion of the man’s arm had been severed.

The details surrounding the accident are unknown, although police have reported that the arm was cut off by a rope. The NYPD Harbor Unit searched the area, which was near the Statue of Liberty, but could not locate the severed limb. According to the statement, the operator of the tugboat had been adjusting a line at the time. Emergency responders treated the man by applying a tourniquet before he was transported to a hospital. He is currently in serious condition.

Seamen may be eligible for benefits or compensation under the Jones Act after an accident on a vessel, but qualification depends on multiple factors, including employer negligence. Those who have been injured on the job may want to speak to an attorney to learn what recourse they may have to cover the expenses and lost wages caused by the event.

Source: CBS New York, “Tugboat Operator Severs Arm In Accident Near Statue Of Liberty,” April 14, 2017

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