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47 sailors sue after being injured aboard a U.S. Navy ship

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2019 | Maritime Accidents

Injured crew members and the survivors of others who were killed in a U.S. Navy destroyer crash off the coast of Japan two years ago filed a lawsuit against the Japanese company Nippon Yuson (NYK) Line last month in New Orleans.

The plaintiffs’ lawsuit details how they were all working as sailors aboard the United States Ship (USS) John Sidney (S.) McCain on June 17, 2017, off the coast of Japan when it was struck by a Tokyo-based container ship operated by NYK Line.

Those sailors who survived the crash described how water came pouring into the U.S. Navy destroyer once the collision occurred. While many of the survivors were able to reach nearby exits and make it to safety, countless others found themselves having to try to swim to save their lives.

The seven casualties that resulted from this crash were far less than there could have been. As many as 300 crewmembers were asleep on the ship at the time the incident occurred.

Some of the crew members who did survive this incident didn’t make it out unscathed from their wrecked ship. The lawsuit details how one sailor was overcome with water that fateful night. He ended up being struck by a falling locker and rescued by a fellow crewmember. Other sailors have told similar tales.

There was another equally horrifying incident that happened in the same waters just a few months removed from the NYK Line incident as well.

The lawsuit filed this past November brought together 40 injured sailors with the loved ones of seven deceased colleagues of theirs. They have collectively demanded $287 million or more in damages for their injuries and wrongful deaths.

Injuring incidents involving two ships colliding with one another occur far too frequently, especially in heavily congested North Asian waters. If you are a service member who has been injured at sea, then an attorney can advise you of both New York and federal laws that protect your right to compensation when you’re hurt or killed on the job.