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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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Should the Jones Act be repealed?

If you work in the shipping industry in New York, you have likely heard of the Jones Act. You may even have strong feelings about it. You wouldn't be alone. Many people have boisterous opinions about this law from the 1920s. Most of them feel it is time to retire it completely and allow for better, less restrictive regulations to take its place.

According to The Hill, the Jones Act was meant to stop competition on and strengthen the security of U.S. ports. It places limits on domestic shipping so only American made, registered and built vessels can transport goods between American ports. This restriction has had a detrimental impact on the country's economy.

The biggest impact is felt by those states not connected to the lower 48. Hawaii and Alaska are reliant upon imported goods, especially oil. Having to follow the Jones Act means increases in costs for residents. It also is becoming quite limited due to the reduction in the number of American vessels available.

Those who still support the law, suggest it helps increase national security. They say the restrictions allow ports to be more secure and protect our waterways. However, this argument is often dead in the water because the U.S. Navy is strong enough and has the best technology in the world enabling it to offer superior protection for ports and waterways.

If you still are unsure about repealing the Jones Act, then it might help to know that it leads to increased fuel costs for every citizen in every part of the country. That is because oil shipped from domestic providers have to use American vessels that are more expensive to build, maintain and own than foreign ones. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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