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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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Risks and remedies at sea

Working on the ocean or on the docks, or enjoying boating or cruises in your down time, you face certain risks that are not an issue with other means of transportation such as riding the New York subway or navigating the city streets. The legal team at Tabak, Mellusi & Shisha are familiar with the many types of accidents that may happen at sea, and how the law differentiates between those and laws regarding accidents on land. 

MarineInsight.com points out that just like on land, many accidents on vessels occur because of human error. However, when someone is careless, fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at sea, it could easily lead to the grounding, capsizing or sinking of the ship or boat you are on. Collisions and drowning are also common accidents that occur due to negligence. On cruise ships, statistics show that, although an electrical or engine malfunction may cause a fire, almost 75 percent are caused by crew or staff member mistakes. 

Explosions are a particular threat on cargo ships, particularly when they are carrying flammable substances such as crude oil. Even though the nature of the cargo itself could put you at risk working on an oil tanker, it is negligence that causes approximately 84 to 88 percent of the accidents on this type of vessel.

Inclement weather could lead to a disaster anywhere. The potential for immediate rescue is much lower if your vessel is overtaken at sea, though. Appropriate preparation and response may make the difference between your life and death. Information about types of accidents that may be covered under maritime law is available on our webpage.

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Because of the complexities of Admiralty and Maritime Law, virtually all situations involving bodily injury and death require a timely consult with experienced maritime counsel.

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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