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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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On a course toward unmanned cargo ships

The day when a ship may leave a port in New York without a crew member aboard is out there, although the exact date is still up in the air. According to IEEE Spectrum, designers are currently working on the technology to make unmanned cargo ships a reality, and trial runs have even been held. Proponents believe the safety benefits of a ship controlled by robotic and remote means could eliminate the thousands of mariner deaths each year.

While experts are seeking ways to make ships safer by eliminating the need for onboard crew members, companies are reducing the number of people manning the vessels without waiting for the technology to take up the slack. Marine Insight reports that this technique is one of the primary factors leading to crew member mistakes. Job duties relating to ship operations are shared among fewer and fewer workers, resulting in long and irregular hours. Often, the tasks are strenuous and physically taxing.

Crew members who suffer the physical and mental strain of overwork on cargo ships may engage in a number of negligent behaviors that put themselves and everyone on board at risk of serious or fatal injuries. For example, they may make careless mistakes or take shortcuts to try to finish one duty more quickly and move on to the next. They may develop anger and motivation issues over the frustration of trying to do more than they are physically able, and blame their co-workers for mistakes. The strain often also leads to substance or alcohol use while at sea.

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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