Offshore InjuryBlog

Blogs Posted in 2015

11 28

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What Is Assumption of Risk?

Assumption of risk is a legal defense that is often employed in offshore injury claims, as well as in other dangerous occupations. Employers, boat owners, captains, and others will attempt to make themselves immune to lawsuits by claiming that their employees knew the risk of their jobs, and thus cannot sue others when those risk factors result in injury. This defense hinges on a simple premise: ...
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11 27

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Yet another TOTE Maritime ship lost power and drifted for hours on the open seas this past Tuesday. A sister ship to the El Faro , the North Star lost engine power off the coast of Canada this week while sailing from Alaska to Washington. The engine failed to restart, forcing the crew to drift aimlessly for hours until the crew discovered the issue: an electrical problem that crippled the engine ...
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11 19

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News, Wrongful Death
In 2012, three Filipino construction workers lost their lives in a Black Elk Energy platform explosion. Numerous other workers were injured and the explosion caused a leak of an estimated 480 barrels of oil and water. Now, a federal grand jury is seeking to hold those responsible accountable for their involvement in the fatalities. Just today, the jury indicted two companies on charges of ...
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11 10

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Maritime Law

Burn Injuries in the Maritime Industry

Burn injuries can be detrimental to victims, causing lifelong medical complications, thousands of dollars in medical bills and surgical costs, and serious pain and suffering. The emotional distress from burn injuries can also haunt victims for the rest of their lives. While the maritime industry isn’t necessarily notorious for leading the way in burn injury accidents, the threat of fires and ...
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11 5

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El Faro, Arnold & Itkin News
On Tuesday, November 3, our Jones Act and maritime lawyers at Arnold & Itkin LLP filed our second lawsuit for the tragic sinking of the El Faro . In this case, we are representing Patrick John Smith who is the son of Howard John Schoenly—one of the thirty-three men and women who lost their lives in this horrific offshore accident. TOTE Files to Limit Their Liability Last week, TOTE Maritime (the ...
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11 2

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El Faro, News
The team on the USNS Apache has discovered wreckage of a vessel that is mostly likely the cargo ship that went missing last month during Hurricane Joaquin. The National Transportation Safety Board is still gathering evidence and will soon be using CURV 21, a remotely operated underwater vehicle equipped with video to survey the wreckage and confirm that it is the El Faro. The wreckage was ...
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10 29

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El Faro, Arnold & Itkin News
On October 28, Attorneys Kurt Arnold , Jason Itkin , and Cory Itkin of Arnold & Itkin filed suit in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida for the sinking of the El Faro cargo ship. Their suit was filed on behalf of the estate of Anthony Shawn Thomas, one of the victims aboard the ship. Thomas left behind a wife and five children. El Faro’s Voyage In the complaint, it is alleged that the El ...
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10 22

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Arnold & Itkin News
The team at Arnold & Itkin has stepped in on behalf of a seaman from Tampa, FL who sustained serious injuries while working on a shrimping boat. The incident occurred off the Texas coast around Freeport, TX. The man was completing his job duties when his hand became infected. Despite making several requests to the captain that the ship be turned around and taken back to port so that he could seek ...
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10 15

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News, El Faro

El Faro Was Undergoing Engine Room Work

On Monday, October 5, the owner of El Faro, the ship that was lost during Hurricane Joaquin, announced that the vessel had been undergoing engine room work that was previously undisclosed. At a press conference, offices from Tote Inc., the ship owner, stated that an unspecified engine room had been receiving work from a repair crew as part of conversion work before being moved. The President of ...
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10 13

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What Do Stevedores Do?

The role of a stevedore is very important in the maritime industry . They make sure ships can move quickly from port to port by providing efficient cargo loading and unloading services. These aren’t your average dock workers or musclemen. Stevedores are typically highly skilled and trained operators of advanced mechanical handling equipment. Some stevedores may still handle cargo hands on at ...
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10 7

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Offshore Accidents
The offshore and maritime industries are filled with risky jobs. One of the most dangerous? Underwater welding. But just how common are accidents in this particular occupation? Due to the nature of the job, it is not surprising that accidents or injuries can occur fairly often. According to statistics, there is an estimated 15% fatality rate for underwater welders. While this may be a high ...
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10 3

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News, El Faro

Cargo Ship Carrying 28 Americans Still Missing

El Faro, a cargo ship carrying 28 Americans, went missing during Hurricane Joaquin; it was last heard from at approximately 7:20 a.m. on Thursday. At that time, the El Faro had sent a distress call that it was taking on water after losing power. It is believed that ship lost propulsion and was listing at 15 degrees. The El Faro was a 735-foot vessel traveling from Jacksonville, FL to San Juan in ...
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10 2

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Arnold & Itkin News
Arnold & Itkin has taken on a case involving an injured offshore worker. Our client suffered severe second and third degree burns while working aboard the Lucius spar off the coast of Louisiana. The incident occurred when a pipe flange exploded, gushing pressurized liquid into our client’s face. This resulted in serious injuries, forcing them to seek extensive medical care and treatment. In ...
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9 21

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Offshore Injuries

Injuries from Cold Exposure

Most offshore injury claims come from common incidents that occur in the maritime field such as slip and falls, rigging accidents, or similar issues. However, one of the most dangerous challenges an offshore worker can face is cold exposure. If a maritime worker is exposed to frigid waters, they could suffer from hypothermia, frostbite, or other severe complications. Maritime hypothermia can even ...
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9 2

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Maritime Law

What Is a Deckhand?

Considering a career in the maritime industry ? Have a loved one who works as a deckhand? Understanding more about this important role can give you a better idea of what to expect on the job. Ships and vessels of all sizes require all types of workers to help maintain effective operations. Some of the most key members of a crew are deckhands. These individuals perform a number of essential tasks ...
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8 28

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Arnold & Itkin News
On August 27, 2015, in a span of two hours, Arnold & Itkin obtained two substantial verdicts against W&T Offshore in two separate cases tried in Harris County Judicial District Courts. In Wesley Fredieu v. W&T Offshore , the jury took less than three hours to find the company liable for $1,700,000 in damages caused to Mr. Fredieu when a fuel gas header on one its offshore platforms exploded and ...
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8 17

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Offshore Safety

What Is a Roustabout?

Roustabouts: The Bottom of the Totem Pole Roustabouts are maintenance workers in the oil and natural gas industry. They are essentially the “guys on the ground,” responsible for making sure oil wells are running efficiently and constantly. As a result, a roustabout’s duties are often flexible and varied, ranging from sweeping the floors of the rig to handling dangerous chemicals. Some common ...
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At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we are proud to extend our help to injured offshore workers from coast to coast. Backed by years of experience, our maritime injury attorneys have been successful in recovering more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients—and we are ready to help you fight for what you deserve. Maritime Injury Lawyers Serving the Entire Gulf Coast We know that ...
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Assumption of Risk

Understanding How Assumption of Risk May Impact Your Case When you have suffered serious injuries due to a maritime or offshore accident , the last thing on your mind may be getting into a major legal battle with your employee or the party at fault. Unfortunately, even in cases where obvious negligence took place, the liable party will often try to fight this liability to avoid having to ...
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8 5
The maritime industry employs commercial divers on a full-time or contract basis to provide inspections or maintenance of offshore structures beneath the surface of the ocean. Given the harsh environment and the depths at which they are required to work, commercial diving is an especially dangerous job. Because of the specialization of their work, commercial divers are often forced to perform ...
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7 31

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Offshore Accidents
It is no secret that offshore vessels are dangerous places to work. One of the biggest hazards on many offshore vessels is work that must be performed in a confined space. In addition to hazards that are present in open spaces such as being struck by an object, confined spaces contain additional unique hazards. Even hazards that are minor in open spaces can become exacerbated by conditions in a ...
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Transfer Risks Offshore Workers Face The Gulf of Mexico is filled with lift boats, jack up rigs , drilling rigs, and platforms . These structures are all necessary for the retrieval of gas and oil from the region's rich mineral deposits. In order to transfer workers to and from their jobsites, many companies use personnel baskets or Billy Pugh baskets to get the job done. As any worker who has ...
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7 21

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Arnold & Itkin News
The maritime attorneys at Arnold & Itkin filed a lawsuit recently on behalf of an Arizona man who was injured while he was aboard a fishing yacht. Our client was on the second deck of the yacht when the captain of the vessel came to an abrupt stop while traveling at a high speed. The force of the stop caused our client to fall to the floor of the second deck. During his fall, he hit his head on a ...
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At approximately 1:20 a.m. on Monday, two eastbound Kirby Inland Marine barges and two westbound Enterprise Marine Services barges collided at mile marker 349 near Bolivar Peninsula in Texas. The two Kirby barges had been being pushed by the tug Capt. Shorty C; the other barges were being pushed by the tug Jackie. According to a U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer, the accident occurred after one of ...
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7 17

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The Port of Houston is a 25-mile-long complex located on the southeast side of Houston. It connects to the Gulf of Mexico and is the country’s busiest port for foreign exports. In terms of total tonnage, it is the country’s second busiest port, trailing only the Port of South Louisiana. The port traffics over 200 million tons of goods each year. Port of Houston Statistics No. of major cargo ...
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