Offshore InjuryBlog

Blogs Posted in 2015

12 28

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As 2015 draws to a close, it’s a good time to review. Unfortunately, when it comes to offshore oil rig explosions , this can be sobering. Two major offshore oil rig accidents occurred in 2015: The Petrobras oil rig explosion off the coast of Brazil and the Pemex platform fire and explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. As a result of these accidents, five oil rig workers were killed and as many as 45 ...
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12 22

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Lawsuit Filed for Injured Florida Seaman

Maritime law attorneys from Arnold & Itkin LLP recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a seaman from Florida who was working aboard the Edison Chouest C-Enforcer. Our client had been hurt while unloading materials aboard the vessel; he sustained severe injuries to his shoulder, arm, and various other parts of his body. Our firm filed the case in Harris County District Court and alleged that the ...
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12 18

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On Monday December 14th, various insurance companies representing organizations that suffered cargo losses in the El Faro sinking requested a filing date extension from a U.S. district court. Originally, the court had given all parties until December 21 st to file their claims regarding the losses incurred by the tragic incident. However, the court recognized on Wednesday that the filing date did ...
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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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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 16

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As of today, the National Transportation Safety Board has concluded their search through the wreckage and debris field of the El Faro , the freighter that was lost at sea in early October. Unfortunately, we have received word that the NTSB’s search for the Voyage Data Recorder has ended without success . As we reported on a previous blog, the VDR is a vital part of any offshore disaster ...
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11 12

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As of this afternoon, the National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Navy’s ongoing accident investigation into the El Faro case has determined the location of the bridge deck. However, the Voyage Data Recorder, normally located at the back of the navigation bridge, is missing. Now, the USNS Apache is combing the debris field for the missing recorder. The Voyage Data Recorder records data ...
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11 10

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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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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 3

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Last night, Attorney Jason Itkin appeared on CNN’S Erin Burnett OutFront to discuss how the El Faro owners are attempting to limit what’s owed to the families affected by this maritime tragedy. On Friday, TOTE Maritime, the owner of the El Faro, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in Florida claiming they should bear no financial liability regarding the sinking of the ship. Per the ...
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11 2

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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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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 29

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Earlier today a crew member aboard a container ship in east Harris County suffered a serious fall. The worker fell down into what is estimated to be a 60-foot hold. A hold is a space for carrying cargo, which may be covered up with a large hatch when cargo is in transport. Some newer ships have eliminated the hatch to decrease dead-weight, which can make the open hold a potential danger for crew ...
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10 27

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On October 23, the United States Naval Ship Apache arrived at the last known spot of the El Faro , the cargo ship that went missing earlier this month somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean—likely near the Bahamas. The search mission was launched by the National Transportation Safety Board last week on October 19. 33 crew members were on board the vessel when it sunk, 28 of which were American. The ...
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10 24

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When an American seaman from Hammond Louisiana was injured on the job after following his employer’s instructions, he decided to seek out the counsel of Arnold & Itkin. After reviewing his case, our offshore injury attorneys took fast action and filed a lawsuit on his behalf. The man suffered serious injuries while working near Fourchon, Louisiana when his boss ordered him to single-handedly lift ...
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10 23

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The maritime injury lawyers at our firm have taken on a lawsuit for a Horn Lake tow boat worker who suffered serious injuries in a platform collapse incident. While working aboard the boat on the Mississippi River, he was helping tie the vessel to a port. At this time, the platform he was standing on unexpectedly broke loose and fell. The seaman ended up sustaining major injuries as a result, ...
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10 23

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Reports have been coming in of debris washing ashore in the Bahamas—which many believe to belong to the recently sunken El Faro. The El Faro was a cargo ship caught in the fury of Hurricane Joaquin earlier this month. When the ship suffered engine troubles and a hull breach, it was stuck in the path of the raging storm. Among some of the debris found was a large container fragment. Officials have ...
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10 22

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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 20

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On Tuesday, October 20, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announced that a fatality was reported on the Pacific Santa Ana in the Gulf of Mexico. The drillship had been performing operations for Chevron in about 4,800 feet of water approximately 200 miles south of Lake Charles when the incident occurred. No other injuries have been reported and operations have since been ...
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10 19

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The USNS Apache of the U.S. Navy departed today on a salvage mission to find the El Faro. The cargo ship carrying 28 Americans was reported missing on October 1 after it lost power on its route from Jacksonville, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The vessel reportedly sunk somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean after getting hit by Hurricane Joaquin. Investigators will be involved in the operation, ...
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10 15

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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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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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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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