Offshore InjuryBlog

Blogs Posted in 2016

When Tankers Collide: Potential Dangers

Maritime accidents involving tanker collisions are some of the most dangerous accidents that can occur at sea. While it is not uncommon for vessels to collide, the collisions can lead to catastrophic injuries and even death. With increased vessel speed, the increased ability to carry larger loads of greater tonnage, and increased maritime traffic, the risk of vessel collision accidents has also ...
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Offshore Injuries
If you have been injured while working offshore, chances are your injury was a serious one. You may be worried about paying your bills, providing for your family and your future ability to continue working in the industry . You may even be concerned that, by filing a suit to help relieve some of your financial burdens, you may be placing yourself on a "blacklist" that will prevent you from ever ...
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What is the outer Continental Shelf? In August 1954, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) was created to govern activity related to the outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The act defines the OCS as the following: "The term 'outer Continental Shelf' means submerged lands lying seaward and outside of the area of lands beneath navigable waters…of which the subsoil and seabed appertain to the ...
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Longshoreman Rights

Discrimination Against Maritime Employees

There is a high level of dedication and risk involved in the life of a seaman working on offshore excursions. As such, laws such as the Jones Act and the Merchant Marine Act have been created to protect the brave souls that honorably choose this lifestyle as a career. Unfortunately, as a result of the dangers involved in offshore accidents , it sometimes becomes necessary for a seaman to protect ...
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Longshoreman Rights

Longshoreman Injuries: Know Your Rights!

Have you been injured in a work-related accident? Longshoremen are responsible for loading and unloading cargo from ships and other vessels. The nature of this work is full of potential mishaps. If your employer was reckless or negligent in upholding safety standards or regarding your welfare, you could be entitled to compensation. You should not be responsible for the medical bills that resulted ...
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Classifications of Maritime Crewmembers

On vessels, seamen operate within different ranks. Offshore worker classifications help further the mission of the vessel by giving crewmembers specific duties and responsibilities. Crewmembers are primarily placed into four different departments: the deck department, the engineering department, the steward's department, and other. Below, we explain the classification of crewmembers within each ...
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One of the most overlooked dangers for maritime workers is actually one they face at the beginning of their hitch : boarding the vessel. The transferring of personnel to and from a vessel while at sea can be hazardous, especially when handled incorrectly. The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) states that before a personnel transfer occurs, all parties involved should be briefed ...
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Liability of a Negligent Ship Captain

Tragedies at sea over the last few years have shed light on a recurring problem: captain negligence and the disaster that can result. From ferries to cruise ships, captain negligence can cost the lives of passengers. Capsized South Korean Ferry On April 16, 2015, a South Korean ferry capsized—leaving more than 300 people dead or missing, many of whom were school children. It was found that the ...
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Case Filed for Louisiana Barge Worker

Vessel owners are responsible for ensuring that their boats, barges, or rigs are seaworthy and safe work environments. That means when they’re not—and someone is hurt as a result—they’re liable to pay for that worker’s medical care and other costs associated with the injury. When negligence is involved in these cases (and that’s too often the case) workers are entitled to other forms of ...
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Jones Act Suit Filed for Injured Seaman

The Jones Act is a law that allows injured seamen to seek compensation from their employers when negligence causes severe or long-term injuries. Passed in 1920, the Jones Act is a rare type of law that is as relevant today as when it was passed. Our most recent case is a Jones Act claim on behalf of a seamen who was injured by negligent safety standards. Our client was a worker on a crew boat when ...
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Dustin was preparing himself for a risky workday. As a former Marine, he was no stranger to risky workdays—he enlisted in 2004, during the height of the conflict in the Middle East. He completed two tours, fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and came away largely unscathed. As unscathed as any Marine who’s seen combat can be, anyway. Still, today felt different. The 28-year-old worker would be ...
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April 16, 2015 was a cloudy morning. The deck of the passenger ferry MV Sewol was buzzing with high school students on a school trip, accompanied by over 325 classmates and several of their teachers. Both crew and passengers ate breakfast in the dining hall, walked around on the deck, and enjoyed the morning. The captain was in his private quarters, while the ship’s third mate was holding down the ...
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First, a Dedication For years, our firm has worked on behalf of offshore workers, becoming a part of their lives while we fought to protect them. We have seen some of the worst injuries possible on oil rigs and shipping vessels happen to people who wanted nothing but to do their jobs. These men and women live their lives in the teeth of fate, with nothing but hardhats, tethers, and faith in their ...
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December 20 th , 1987. 10:00 PM Local Time. It was a good night. The sea was choppy but the weather was clear, so the 59-strong crew of the Dona Paz were confident that they would make it to port on time—5 am at the latest. Paquito Osabel, one of the thousands of passengers onboard, sat cross-legged on the floor with his sister, Alejandra, and her young daughters: Evangelina, Anna Liza, and ...
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In a troubling news story, NBC is reporting that the Isla Bella, the El Faro’s replacement, may sail into Hurricane Matthew and face waves up to 20 feet tall. TOTE Maritime spoke with NBC, citing that it will be the captain’s responsibility to decide whether the ship remains in port at Puerto Rico or makes the three-day journey to Jacksonville. The company’s official statement said the following: ...
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In a recent article on Jacksonville.com, on the 1-year anniversary of the El Faro tragedy, the Florida Times-Union took a look at the El Faro investigation, its progress, and the fact that there may still be some time before the families (including our clients) get answers about what happened that stormy night on October 1st. Thankfully, there has still been progress. If you remember, early last ...
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With the broad expanses of the open ocean, relatively few vessels, and near-total visibility, you might think boats are less likely to collide with each other. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it never happens. For our clients, the wide open environment didn’t stop a shrimp boat from crashing into their vessel during a fishing trip. The three young men sustained serious injuries as a result. They ...
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Most offshore injuries occur on the decks of oil rigs, industrial ships, and other vessels that employ work crews. When these crews are sent home for a break after their 14-day stretch, or are returning after a short period of relief, you might think their risk for injury is over. Sadly, that was not the case for Arnold & Itkin’s newest client. Our client—a young offshore worker—was a passenger ...
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At Arnold & Itkin, we’ve always had exceptional attorneys on staff. We are always thrilled when our colleagues affirm what we already know about our team. So, we are thrilled to announce that Kurt Arnold , Cory Itkin , and Caj Boatright have been selected to the list for Best Lawyers® for 2017 for Admiralty and Maritime Law. This award is particularly special this year, as Caj Boatright is a ...
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Vessel vs. Platform

Offshore oil and gas production is complex, involving many different players and facets. Essentially, the industry involves two main tasks: extracting the materials and transferring them to a refinery to be prepared for marketing. These tasks involve two main types of different yet equally important equipment: vessels and platforms (rigs). Platforms are stationary structures while vessels are ...
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The judge overseeing the El Faro case has given all parties—the vessel owners and the plaintiffs holding them accountable—until May 7 th , 2018 to prepare arguments about why Tote should or shouldn’t have limited liability protection in this case. Below, we discuss the El Faro case, how Tote is arguing for limited liability, and why this court date matters. Why This Decision Matters to Us For ...
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Just before noon Tuesday morning, the crew of the Alaska Juris were faced with a terrible problem: Their ship was sinking. The 220-foot fishing vessel (specifically a factory trawler, which drags nets in order to catch fish) began taking on water in the late morning, on a day only notable for the heavy fog and low visibility. Otherwise, the weather and winds were calm. The Alaska Juris allegedly ...
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Maritime law attorneys from Arnold & Itkin recently filed a Jones Act case on behalf of a seaman who sustained serious injuries to his back while working on a marine vessel. The man has been unable to work as a result of these serious injuries which would not have occurred but for the defendants’ reckless conduct. Arnold & Itkin LLP is honored that another offshore worker has trusted us to help ...
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Offshore oil and gas exploration is a lucrative business, but it also carries a number of unique hazards. Often, one wrong move or defective machine part can have a devastating impact on extraction efforts. With the ever-increasing race to extract minerals, the energy industry has unfortunately had to deal with several massive catastrophes. The blowout preventer (BOP) was cited as a major cause of ...
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Later this month, thousands of oil platforms on the United States coast will be subject to new regulations for reporting maintenance failure. Currently, oil rigs are not required to report equipment failure unless it meets certain conditions or affects environmental safety. In other words, rigs don’t have to report failing equipment until something terrible happens. Thankfully, that will soon ...
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