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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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Boating and alcohol: a bad combination

Because boating is typically seen as a recreational activity, New Yorkers may assume that the laws concerning alcohol behind the wheel of a boat are not as stringent as those restricting car drivers. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, though, boating under the influence can be just as deadly as driving while impaired. About 16 percent of all boating deaths are alcohol-related.

The absence of obvious lanes and objects to run into can add to the impression that it is safe to be out on the water after a few drinks. Navigating boat and shipping traffic, waves, shoreline and submerged hazards requires a clear head, though. There is a ten times greater chance that boat operators will die in an accident if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent or more.

According to the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation department, there are a number of factors that increase a person’s impairment when intoxicated on the water, such as engine noise and vibration, and the heat and glare from the sun. Two functions that are essential on a boat, balance and coordination, are compromised by even a small amount of alcohol, as is judgment. Tracking moving objects becomes more difficult when a person cannot accurately estimate distance and speed, putting everyone out on the water at risk. In the event of an accident, people who have been drinking are more likely to drown.

For all these reasons, New York state laws treat violations seriously. A person may lose the privilege of operating a boat, and may also face jail time and fines.

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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