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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.
  • $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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Maintenance & Cure Archives

What if a company refuses to pay cure?

After a serious injury aboard a vessel, you may expect the owner to pay for your medical expenses as you convalesce in New York. However, in some cases, seamen have had to take their employers to court in order to receive maintenance and cure that the law says should be theirs. In one case reported by FindLaw, the court found in favor of the men who were injured in a barge accident

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.

What is maintenance and cure?

Workers in New York can typically receive compensation for on-the-job injuries through workers’ compensation. As a seaman, this coverage is not available for you. However, according to the U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit, federal law does require your employer to provide financial assistance when you have medical needs because of a physical condition that arose while you were in service on the vessel.

Illnesses such as cancer may be covered by maintenance and cure

Health conditions that occur while a New Yorker is working on a vessel at sea may lead to hefty medical bills and the inability to return to work for some time. These financial challenges may not be so devastating, though, because of maintenance and cure. According to KDLG.org, this financial benefit covers almost any injury or illness if it happened while the seaman is in service on a boat.

PTSD and maintenance and cure

If you have experience a traumatic event that left you injured during the course of your employment as a seaman, you may seek maintenance and cure in New York under the Jones Act so that your employer will cover the costs of your medical care and certain expenses while you are undergoing treatment. However, even though you may make a complete physical recovery, if the incident left you with post-traumatic stress disorder, it may be difficult or impossible for you to function normally. We at Tabak, Mellusi & Shisha understand the importance of ensuring that maintenance and cure benefits cover all damages.

When does maintenance and cure include punitive damages?

When your employer refuses to pay for the medical costs associated with your accident on the job as a seaman, it may seem as if the company is adding insult to injury. However, you may find that during your recovery in New York, the delays and difficulty you experience as a result of the hardship from the injury add further harm, as well. If you are able to prove that you qualify for compensation based on maintenance and cure, you may also be able to hold your employer responsible for those secondary damages.

The basics: Maintenance and cure for maritime workers

If you work at sea then you might already know that your job is dangerous. Between slippery decks, long exhausting hours and tumultuous weather it is easy to get injured at sea. That is why seamen, deckhands, engineers and other maritime workers are covered under the Jones Act. Anyone working at sea is at a higher risk of injury than those working on land. The Jones Act gives extra protections to maritime workers because of the dangerous nature of the job.

The Jones Act and private insurance: What you should know

As a seaman or dock worker in New York, you probably already have some form of private insurance in place. If you are injured at work, you may be told by your employer to just use that insurance to receive medical treatment. At Tabak Mellusi & Shisha LLP, we see these types of situations all the time and often explain to our clients why this is not a good idea.

Underwater welders and the risks they face

Marine structures are highly susceptible to rust partly because of the higher concentration of salt in the environment. As such, underwater welders are in high demand and this profession can provide New Yorkers with a lucrative income. Along with the good pay however, also comes some risk.

Brain trauma can take many forms

One of the injuries that someone in New York can suffer while working on a dock or on a ship is a head injury. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, there are several types of brain injuries that people can suffer from. The most commonly known type is the concussion, but there are others and these include the following:

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