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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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Negligence not relevant for maintenance and cure

When a New York seaman is injured on a vessel, the owner is required to pay for medical bills, lodging, transportation and food until the seaman either returns to work or improves as much as he or she can under medical care. According to the U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit, these expenses are known as maintenance and cure and are rights that seamen have as long as they can fulfill the burden of proof.

The evidence must show the status as a seaman, service on the vessel at the time of the injury and the amount to which he or she is entitled. The seaman does not have to prove that there was any negligence in the case.

According to the Federal Bar Association, in the case, Allen v. NCL America, LLC, a seaman claimed that the vessel owner had breached his duty to provide maintenance and cure. Further, the plaintiff alleged that the accident, which caused an injury to his knee, was the result of negligence and unseaworthiness. These two factors are claims under the Jones Act rather than maintenance and cure.

The plaintiff did not provide the evidence needed for a successful Jones Act claim, and the court dismissed the allegations of negligence and unseaworthiness. However, the vessel owner made a motion to dismiss the claim for breach of maintenance and cure that was unsuccessful. The court ruled that the burden of proof had been fulfilled in this matter, namely that the seaman became injured in service of the vessel. As a result, the seaman received compensation for medical expenses and the cost of room and board for the duration of the time he was not able to work. 

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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