Million Dollar Fine for Miami River Marine Shipping Company
On Friday, a million dollar fine was given to the Miami River Marine Cargo Shipping Company connected to the Titan Express – a vessel found to be leaking oil and fuel in excess from its engine. In addition, the company, Antillean Marine, was sentenced to five years of probation time for the pollution that its spillage caused.
The leakage was discovered by members of the Coast Guard when they realized that the oil water separator was not operating normally. The poor operation of the separator was the tip-off for Coast Guard members who then became aware that oil was also inside the ship's separator.
Now, the company has been charged with ballast water crimes and the ruling judge has ordered American Marine Management Services to pay half of the fine's total to the nonprofit environmental organization, South Florida National Parks Trust.
A ballast water crime is one in which a ship's maneuverability is increased by the addition of water holding tanks at the bottom of the vessel; a practice frowned upon in the field. Adding insult to injury, official reports indicate that the record book kept by the Miami River company included several false entries which were nothing more than made-up logs. The book was not a good representative account of the waste emitted by the Titan Express.
Antillean Marine was again found in violation of the law when they failed to report the activity to the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse. The company has pled guilty to crimes for which it has been charged.
The recent oil spill has resulted in damaging pollution to our environment. While no crew members or employees of the company were harmed, the spillage is indicative of the company's general lack of concern for regulating measures of operation. If they failed to report malpractice and harmful leakage to the environment, what's to stop them from reporting similar acts of negligence that could affect employees, Coast Guards, etc.? The incident may have been stopped short from harming others, but now there is much doubt that a similarly favorable fate will be reached next time.
For offshore incidents such as that concerning the Titan Express, you should not hesitate to speak with an offshore injury attorney from Arnold & Itkin LLP. You may not have been directly injured, but we can investigate your case and determine whether or not a claim exists to be made. You have rights under the Jones Act, and the company you work for is expected to follow the laws set forth to protect the safety and wellbeing of offshore workers. It is important to make sure that your rights are not being violated, especially when the behaviors of the company you work for indicate that violation are being made in other areas of filed practice.
At our law firm, we have played an integral role in representing the victims of some of the world's most well-known offshore disasters; obtaining verdicts and settlements in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars. Contact an offshore injury lawyer at our office today to learn more about how we can assist with your case – or help you determine if you have a case.