Archive for November, 2011

When Stress Has Physical Results, Jones Act Attorney Showed Grounds For Employer Liability

Darren Fischer worked as a seaman aboard commercial water craft, owned by Midshipping, INC., from 1994 to 2000. Fischer served on “self-unloading” boats, which unload by opening gates, at the bottoms of cargo holds. When the gates are open, the cargo drops onto a conveyor belt. Other conveyor belts transport this cargo to an unloading boom, which drops the cargo onto a dock. Two-person teams (conveyormen and gatemen) operate and maintain the self-unloading system.

In March 2000, Midshipping assigned Fischer to a ship called the “S.S. Bounty.” Fischer served on that ship through June 2000. Although the equipment on the Bounty was in good condition, Fischer was unhappy, he later testified to his Jones Act attorney, that he was assigned to “that ship” and believed that the gateman he had been assigned was “incompetent.” The result, the Jones Act attorney established, was an enormous amount of pressure, as Fischer worried over potential damage to millions of dollars worth of goods.

Details Introduced By Jones Act Attorney Detailed “Awful Stress” In Ship Duties

Eventually, Fischer got a transfer to the “S.S. Bounder,” which Fischer fondly considered to be his “old home,” the Jones Act attorney noted. On his first day on the Bounder, Fischer heard squealing noises from the conveyor rollers for about five hours. Fischer later testified in his deposition to the Jones Act attorney that the job of a conveyorman, generally, is a “stressful one.” His work involved long, difficult hours of tough physical labor and mental stress, showed the Jones Act attorney.

On August 16, 2000, Fischer left the Bounder for a vacation, at about 10 p.m., according to work records produced by the Jones Act attorney. Early the next morning, Fischer suffered a heart attack at his home. Fischer was then 60 years old, and had no known history of heart problems, noted the Jones Act attorney. There were, the Jones Act attorney showed, also some issues of diabetes and ulcers. In June 2001, after unrelated surgeries, Fischer was told that he would be unable to ever go back to work. Four years later, Fischer died as a result of his original heart attack. In failing health before then, Fischer had sought out the advice of a Jones Act attorney. Fischer and the Jones Act attorney had decided to sue Midshipping under the Jones Act, alleging that Fischer’s heart attack had been caused by the stress. Eventually, however, the district court granted the vessel owner’s motion for a summary judgment. The Jones Act attorney then promptly appealed, and later continued the case on behalf of Fisher’s widow.

Jones Act Attorney: Duty Of Vessel Owners May Include Awareness Of Worker’s Physical Limits

Jones Act employers have a duty, observed the Jones Act attorney, to use “reasonable care” in providing employees with a safe place to work. This means, employers also may (“may,” emphasized the Jones Act attorney) be negligent if they assign employees to tasks, which are known to be beyond their physical abilities. Injuries may be covered under the Jones Act, observed the Jones Act attorney by citing other legal cases, even if the injuries are caused by the cumulative effect of incidents. This is especially true, pointed out the Jones Act attorney, when the worker’s in a potential “zone of danger” for physical harm.

Midshipping, on the other hand, answered the Jones Act attorney on appeal (unsuccessfully) that the district court granted its summary judgment, because Fischer’s Jones Act attorney’s claims were “merely” work-related stress claims. The Jones Act attorney answered that the claims were for an actual physical injury. Crucially, the Jones Act attorney didn’t seek recovery for negligent infliction of Fischer’s emotional distress.

The appeals court agreed with the Jones Act attorney, noting that Fischer’s injury was physical (an actual heart attack) and the Jones Act attorney never argued a case of negligent infliction of emotional distress. Heart attacks can become compensable injuries, the Jones Act attorney had convinced the appeals court, as long as the statutory requirements of the Jones Act are met. The key in this case, noted the Jones Act attorney, was because the heart attack occurred, either during or shortly after Fischer’s strenuous physical labor, or because of adverse physical conditions in the workplace.

The Jones Act attorney had successfully emphasized specific cases where physical injuries, including heart attacks, were covered under the Jones Act…especially, if they are negligently caused by physical stress or extraordinary non-physical stress. The Jones Act attorney was willing to concede that an employer breaches no duty by failing to prevent “ordinary” workplace stress. In this case, however, the district court had been wrong in believing that there were never any grounds of recovery for stress that leads to a heart attack. The Jones Act attorney under the facts of this case showed that negligently caused physical stress or extraordinary non-physical stress can be a breach of duty to a seaman.

Before a physical condition becomes life threatening, it’s urgent to get the advice of a Jones Act attorney.

Choose Your Jones Act Attorney Wisely

Your Jones Act attorney should be your most trusted ally during your maritime claim. After being injured in a maritime accident, it can be hard to know who you should trust. You should always be able to trust your attorney to help you make the best decisions. Your lawyer should always have your best interests in mind and should work for you, not against you. When you choose a Jones Act attorney, make sure you choose one that has a reputation for being trustworthy, as well as being experienced and successful in the courtroom.

Jones Act Attorney Handles Severe Cut Claim

When S. Shelby, a worker out of Louisiana, was employed in the kitchen of a vessel, she never thought she would need a Jones Act attorney – but she did. Ms. Shelby suffered a severe injury while performing her regular duties. Ms. Shelby was working in the kitchen, preparing meals for the crew, when the vessel lost power. Unable to see what she was doing, Ms. Shelby stopped her work. However, her superior, believing that the power would quickly be restored, insisted that she continue working. Struggling to see in the darkened kitchen, Ms. Shelby cut her hand – to the bone. After seeking treatment for her injury, she contacted a Jones Act attorney for advice.

Ms. Shelby’s Jones Act attorney did not hesitate to file a claim. Clearly, Ms. Shelby was working in an unsafe environment when she was forced to work in the dark. She should have been allowed to wait until power was restored. The cut was so deep that she suffered permanent nerve damage, making it impossible for her to return to her position as a cook – she needed the ability to use her hand and she no longer had full use. Her Jones Act attorney negotiated a settlement for $1.2 million for lost wages, future lost wages and medical expenses.

Call Your Jones Act Attorney for Advice

If you have been hurt due to an employer’s negligence, you need to call a Jones Act attorney for advice. You could have a financial claim on your hands and your attorney will help you. If a claim is filed, you need good legal representation, so call an experienced Jones Act attorney today.

Lack Of A “Certain” Cause No Reason To Excuse Jones Act Liability, Proved Jones Act Attorney

The fishing vessel Dell had been on a clamming trip out of Port Smith, South Carolina, when, fully loaded with a catch of Atlantic quahogs, it ran into stormy weather as it headed back to port. As the boat headed in, with its crew of five, the waves washing up on deck weren’t receding off as they usually did. The Dell was taking on water. The Captain (as proved by a Jones Act attorney, later) told the crew members to put on their survival suits, and a few minutes later, ordered them all to abandon ship.

Two crew members who survived had different memories, explained the Jones Act attorney, of last seeing the other three… two of the three lost had probably been in the galley putting on their survival suits, showed the Jones Act attorney . One crew member, with his suit unzipped at the neck, was thrown into the water on the port side One of two survivors told the Jones Act attorney that, once in the water, he heard “other” crew members screaming. The two survivors agreed they had “heard Adam crying for help.” After about ten minutes, the Jones Act attorney said, Adam’s yelling stopped. Another clamming vessel approached and rescued the two crewmen. That ship was unsuccessful as it stayed out at sea, searching fruitlessly for the three missing crewmen, said the Jones Act attorney.

The survivors and the lost crew members’ survivors went to see a Jones Act attorney. The Jones Act attorney filed several claims on their behalf, including under the Jones Act.

Cause Of Sinking Never “Certainly” Known, Said Jones Act Attorney

The cause of the vessel’s sinking was the central dispute in this case, emphasized the Jones Act attorney. A trial court, after hearing the detailed evidence form the Jones Act attorney, agreed that the Dell, as it began its return to port, likely “sank because it was substantially overloaded with clams in cages.” The court agreed with the Jones Act attorney that the vessel’s practice of carrying a heavy (and probably excess) load had become its “common” practice. The vessel owner, however, argued that the Dell sank because the crew members had “negligently failed to close a hatch cover” over one of the five clam tanks, (supposedly) allowing water to build up in the lower level of the vessel, undermining its stability.

A ship owner, noted the Jones Act attorney, has an absolute duty to provide a seaworthy vessel. The Jones Act attorney described how this duty went beyond physical integrity of the vessel, and its equipment…other safety factors, mentioned the Jones Act attorney, include procedures crew members are told to use. In this case, the Jones Act attorney successfully argued, this included the vessel’s capacity to carry a cargo of clams.

Jones Act Attorney Discovered Important Two-Year Old Safety Study

The vessel owner didn’t dispute the Jones Act attorney in suggesting that, if the Dell were “usually” overloaded with clams, then a court could find that the vessel owner breached its duty to the crew. Instead, it argued with the evidence from the Jones Act attorney whether overloading occurred. The owner introduced a stability analysis to prove there’d been no overloading. But the Jones Act attorney proved the study was flawed, since the so-called “downflooding point” was a vent…located six-and-one-half feet above the main deck. The expert also had to admit, under examination from the Jones Act attorney, that if the known 1-inch gaps in the vessel’s hatch covers were used as the downflooding point, the vessel (loaded with 130 full cages of clams) would have failed to pass the stability analysis.

A finding of overloading was also shown by evidence from the Jones Act attorney that the Dell sank on an even keel, which indicated (via an expert asked by the Jones Act attorney) that the water was building up on both sides of the vessel and not just on the port. Finally, the experienced Jones Act attorney had been at work looking at the ship’s history. Extensive maintenance records and logs were discovered and introduced. The Jones Act attorney had also discovered a pivotal study from two years before, which suggested the problems associated with overloading the catch. The appeals court had been convinced by the evidence from the Jones Act attorney, and ruled in support of the Jones Act claim.

The confusion attendant to the sinking or capsizing of a vessel is expected, noted the Jones Act attorney. Only after rescue is there time to try and measure the causes and reasons. In cases where the loss of life has occurred, there’s never really an adequate measure of the losses…but as in this case, there are often important explanations waiting for an experienced Jones Act attorney to help to find. Seeking that help, and gaining the assurance of an experienced Jones Act attorney is often vital.

Never Be Silenced with a Jones Act Lawyer

It can be a stressful situation when you need to find a Jones Act lawyer. The act of finding the actual lawyer is not usually stressful – the events that led to the need for an attorney that are stressful. Maritime accidents happen every day and many of these cases require the use of a Jones Act lawyer. By hiring your own attorney, you are not only exercising your rights, you are making a statement. The statement you are making is one that lets your employer know that you will not be silenced. Let your voice be heard by hiring a lawyer today.

Offshore Worker Gets Help from Jones Act Lawyer

N. Malcolm, an offshore worker from Louisiana, was not silenced after his maritime accident. With an experienced Jones Act lawyer by his side, Mr. Malcolm successfully settled his maritime claim. Mr. Malcolm was injured on the job when a crane malfunctioned. On the day of the accident, Mr. Malcolm was working near the crane in question. When the crane malfunctioned, the large load it was carrying fell, hitting Mr. Malcolm. Mr. Malcolm was left with a broken leg, broken ribs and various other injuries. He hired a Jones Act lawyer to assist him with his claim.

Mr. Malcolm’s Jones Act lawyer filed a claim against the employer for negligence and an unsafe working environment. The malfunctioning crane had been long overdue for an inspection. Had the crane been inspected on a regular basis, the problems would have been discovered and repaired. The employer’s clear-cut negligence led to Mr. Malcolm’s injuries. His Jones Act lawyer was able to negotiate a quick settlement with the employer. The final settlement amount was for $1.8 million for medical expenses and lost wages, along with other expenses. Mr. Malcolm completed his maritime claim satisfied with the results.

Get Your Satisfaction with a Jones Act Lawyer

You, too, can get your satisfaction with a Jones Act lawyer. All you have to do is contact an experienced attorney for help with your maritime claim. Many maritime claims settle out of court, so you may not even have to go to trial. Consult with a Jones Act lawyer today and get the monetary satisfaction you deserve.

Your Jones Act Lawyer Will Negotiate a Fair Settlement

A Jones Act lawyer is your strongest ally when dealing with a maritime claim. When you are injured on the job as a seaman, you need an attorney to protect your rights. Your employer might try to convince you that you do not need an attorney – this is only because your employer is looking out for their bottom line. Consulting with a Jones Act lawyer is your right and you should never be afraid to exercise your rights. Let your attorney deal with your employer and negotiate a fair and just settlement for the injuries you suffered.

Jones Act Lawyer Helps Family of Deceased Seaman

The family of Y. Rocker protected their rights with a Jones Act lawyer. Mr. Rocker lost his life at sea when the fishing vessel he was aboard sank. The accident occurred with little warning to the crewmembers. The vessel sank quickly and many seamen lost their lives, including Mr. Rocker. The seaman’s family consulted with a Jones Act lawyer about their loss. They felt that this death could have been avoided with better safety procedures and protocol. After careful consideration, a wrongful death claim was filed against the employer.

The Jones Act lawyer hired by Mr. Rocker’s family discovered several things during the accident investigation. One of these things was the fact that the crab tanks lacked proper high water alarms. These alarms sound when the water level reaches high levels. Since no alarms were present, the crab tanks contained too much water, ultimately leading to the sinking of the vessel. By the time the crewmembers realized the boat was sinking, it was too late to follow safety protocol for abandoning ship. They had no choice but to jump into the water without proper lifesaving equipment. After several negotiation meetings, the Jones Act lawyer for Mr. Rocker’s family negotiated a settlement of $3.4 million for the loss of the seaman.

Seek Compensation for Lost Loved One with a Jones Act Lawyer

Money will never bring a lost seaman back, but it can help with burial expenses and future expenses. If you are the surviving family member of a deceased seaman, contact a Jones Act lawyer for advice. You could have a wrongful death suit on your hands. Your Jones Act lawyer will help you seek compensation for the loss of your beloved family member.

Jones Act Attorney Wanted All Facts About Line Failure To Be Heard By Jury

At the time of his accident, Robert Terry worked as a deckhand aboard the MV Cloris, which was entering port to take on iron ore. Because there were no personnel on the dock to help the vessel in tying up, one of the ship’s crew had to be lowered to the dock. This was a common procedure, accomplished by lowering the crewman on a bos’n’s chair. On that day, Terry (noted the Jones Act attorney) was “the most experienced” deckhand on duty and he was to be lowered on the bos’n’s chair.

Normally, the crew would have an hour to rig the boom with the bos’n’s chair, but the lake was so rough, the ship’s master had ordered everyone off deck until the vessel passed the port breakers. This left only 15 to 20 minutes to complete the boom’s rigging. Worse, large amounts of ice were later proved by the Jones Act attorney to have formed on the deck and the boom. Spray quickly froze when it landed on the ship. Terry and another crewman used propane torches to de-ice the boom. This was according to procedure, said the Jones Act attorney. When Terry tested the boom, it wouldn’t swing out. The crew hadn’t changed the grease in the bearings, from summer to winter grease; and the summer grease had frozen. Terry applied the flame of a torch to the bearings. He worked on each bearing, for only “several minutes” the Jones Act attorney proved, and the grease loosened enough for the boom to pivot.

Finally, the crew began to rig the line for the bos’n’s chair. The crew had used this line for a fairly long time, and evidence gathered from ship records by the Jones Act attorney also showed it had been left rigged, while the ship traveled from port to port. Terry mounted the bos’n’s chair, and the crew swung the boom out. After 10 feet of line were fed out, the line parted and Terry fell about 20 feet to the dock. Terry’s left arm and wrist fractured, his left heel was crushed, and he suffered a back injury. The Jones Act attorney introduced detailed medical records showing the extent of Terry’s severe injuries.

Jones Act Attorney Won Award For Seaman, Successfully Challenged “Expert” Opinion

The employer’s theory was that Terry had somehow burned the line with his torch. But the jury agreed with the Jones Act attorney: the Cloris had been unseaworthy and Castle Steamship had been negligent. The jury decided Terry’s damages were $200,000, but that he had been 50% negligent. The Jones Act attorney promptly appealed this “50%” decision.

The Jones Act attorney argued on appeal that the district court was wrong in allowing Castle Steamship’s expert (Phil Campeche) to offer his opinion. The problem with Campeche’s testimony, said the Jones Act attorney, was whether that testimony was really “expert” at all. To support the appeal, the Jones Act attorney listed the mistakes Campeche had made. Castle Steamship gave Campeche one end of the line that had parted. But it also gave him another (“brand new,” proved the Jones Act Attorney) 13-foot section of line. Campeche wrongly believed (admitted under questioning by the Jones Act attorney) that this 13-foot section of line had been taken from the line that had parted. He didn’t test the 13-foot section, observed the Jones Act attorney, but sent it to a lab for “failure analysis.” Those tests showed the 13-foot section of line had failed under a strain (4,000 pounds), but the jury never learned that, because the court said it was hearsay. This meant, emphasized the Jones Act attorney, that the 13-foot section was new line, and not the actual line that had split. Campeche’s misunderstanding of the line’s age cast also serious doubt on his conclusions, proved the Jones Act attorney.

To Be Expert Opinion, Jones Act Attorney Requested Scientific Tests

The Jones Act attorney also showed Campeche performed “no tests” at all on the actual line. The only “test” Campeche conducted (again admitted to the Jones Act attorney at trial) was to visually examine the frayed end of the line with his naked eye and with a low power microscope. Campeche testified to the Jones Act attorney that he “believed” the line parted because it was weakened by exposure to a “localized heat source.” By referring to a “heat source” instead of flame, the Jones Act attorney noted that (perhaps, coincidentally) Campeche’s testimony could support either of Castle Steamship’s theories at trial: either that Terry accidentally burned the rope with a torch or that he “super heated” the bearing on which he was working, and that bearing burned the rope. But these conclusions, emphasized the Jones Act attorney, didn’t rest on scientific evidence.

Campeche’s opinion wasn’t expert, the Jones Act attorney had proven, since he failed to perform tests or use any “scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge” to give him a valid basis for an “expert” opinion. The court also supported the importance of the Jones Act attorney argument saying the flawed testimony “can only have unfairly influenced the jury in its findings concerning Terry’s alleged negligence.” The Jones Act attorney had requested a new trial, and that request was granted.

Expert testimony is one of the key areas of skill used by an experienced Jones Act attorney. In the same way a Jones Act attorney will seek out the truth of a case, by identifying an expert on the seaman’s behalf, a Jones Act attorney also keeps a check on a potentially inaccurate ‘expert’ for a vessel owner. But a Jones Act attorney also helps develop an accurate picture from one of the most qualified exerts of all, the injured seaman. This process begins when an injured seaman seeks out the advice of a Jones Act attorney.

Jury’s Ability To Choose Vessel Owner’s “Type” Of Negligence Not “Inconsistent” Jones Act Attorney Showed

Maggie Warren sued her employer, Brine, Inc., for personal injuries under both the Jones Act, and maritime unseaworthiness. Her Jones Act attorney detailed the way the accident happened. While carrying a pot to the stove in the galley of a fish processing vessel (CHESTER REILLY),Warren slipped and fell. Hitting her head on the edge of the stove, she suffered severe injuries. Next to the stove were a deep-fat fryer, an oven, and a hot plate.Warren testified that she slipped on a spot of water, oil, water overlying oil, “or something else.” The location of the appliances was important, as shown by a Jones Act attorney, as possible “sources” of spills or leaks. A co-worker later told the Jones Act attorney that she “saw two spots of oil under the edge of the stove.”

The jury clearly believed the evidence, carefully presented by Warren’s Jones Act attorney, and returned a verdict for Warren on the Jones Act negligence claim. The vessel owner appealed and a judge granted the owner’s motion for a new trial on the ground that the jury’s verdict was “inconsistent.” Eventually, the Jones Act attorney appealed this finding, in a successful attempt to have the jury’s decision for Warren upheld.

Jones Act Attorney Showed Safety Recommendations Came From “Experienced Chef”

Warren, emphasized the Jones Act attorney, was an experienced chef in both commercial kitchens, ashore and afloat. Only a few months before her fall, she had been promoted to head chef. Her job included supervising the galley crew, overseeing prep of meals, ordering food and supplies, and maintaining galley safety and cleanliness. She was responsible for serving over 600 meals a day, for all 175 people on board.

Shortly after Warren came to work, she worried about the cleanliness and safety of the galley’s terrazzo floor. She asked the supply contractor to provide rubber floor safety mats. She repeated her request several times, at least once in writing, but no mats were provided. Substantial evidence was offered at trial by the Jones Act attorney showing that it was ship’s practice “not to turn down requests from the head chef” for safety equipment. At least one ship supervisor, under questioning from the Jones Act attorney, said it was “wrong” for the vessel to have failed to act on Warren’s request. In their appeal, the Jones Act attorney even highlighted the employer’s own statement, saying it (quote) “concedes that it may have been negligent in one or both ways, or some other way in not supplying the mats requested by Ms. Warren.”

Reversing Jury Decision For Seaman Was Wrong, Said Jones Act Attorney

In deciding that the jury verdict was “inconsistent,” the district judge said, “if the deck was not unseaworthy, then the Shipowner had no duty to eliminate an unseaworthy condition or to warn the cook of danger.” As the Jones Act attorney established, however, this reasoning ignored testimony (clearly established from three witnesses called by the Jones Act attorney) that having mats would have made some difference in preventing a fall, regardless of the condition of the floor.

The trial court, without objection, had given instructions about choosing between the two types of negligence (Jones Act or maritime)…and at that time, the Jones Act attorney noted, there was “no objection from the vessel owner’s attorney.” It was also important that the trial court, in denying the vessel owner’s motion for a judgment, had decided that the evidence introduced by the Jones Act attorney for Warren was enough to sustain both the negligence and causation decisions by a jury. As the Jones Act attorney argued, this evidence had established the omitting of an act— the omission to furnish mats—was enough for a finding of negligence and causation separate from finding the vessel unseaworthy. In the same way, the jury could have reasonably found defendant’s not providing floor mats was negligence under the Jones Act. In other words, the Jones Act attorney succeeded in establishing the jury was being more thorough than “inconsistent.”

The appeals court agreed with the Jones Act attorney, and said the jury decision was not inconsistent. And, instead of sending the matter back for a new trial, the appeals court reinstated the jury decision. “Having no difficulty in viewing the case so as to make the jury’s verdict consistent, we reverse the judgment below and reinstatement of the original jury verdict for Warren, with legal costs to the vessel owner.”

In this case, the Jones Act attorney reviewed safety standards from a variety of sources…including food service records, requests from the vessel chef, restaurant safety practices, and the vessel’s requisition procedures. By meeting with a Jones Act attorney shortly after returning to shore, these important details were more easily obtained. “The case was made even stronger by meeting quickly with an experienced Jones Act attorney.”

Make the Right Choice with a Jones Act Lawyer

You never know when an accident will happen and cause you to need a Jones Act lawyer. Maritime accidents happen at an alarming rate. Thousands of seamen are injured every year in work-related accidents. If you find yourself injured in one of these accidents, one of the first people you should contact is your Jones Act lawyer. Your attorney will help you decide if you need to file a claim against your employer for compensation. Compensation can include medical expenses and lost wages – even future lost wages. Let your attorney help you make the right choice for your financial future.

Seaman Loses Life, Family Consults with Jones Act Lawyer

When a seaman loses his or her life to the sea, it is imperative for the family to consult with a Jones Act lawyer. The family of C. Hadley made the right choice when they consulted an attorney after Mr. Hadley lost his life at sea. Mr. Hadley, a New England crewmember, was being transferred from one vessel to another at the time of the accident. Mr. Hadley fell while being transferred – right into the water. The crewmembers attempted to rescue him from the water, but the rescue attempts failed. Mr. Hadley died in the water and his family contacted a Jones Act lawyer as soon as possible.

The Jones Act lawyer for Mr. Hadley’s family launched an investigation. The attorney discovered that the other crewmembers had not been properly trained in rescue procedures. This lack of training led to the death of Mr. Hadley. The crewmembers wasted valuable time trying to determine what to do. They were confused and scared – all factors that led to his death. The family’s Jones Act lawyer was able to negotiate a wrongful death settlement in the amount of $2.5 million. While the money will not bring Mr. Hadley back, it will help provide for his family’s future.

Compensate Your Loss with a Jones Act Lawyer

If you have lost a loved one to the sea, contact a Jones Act lawyer for advice. Your attorney can help you file a wrongful death suit against the negligent parties. You deserve compensation for your loss, even though no amount of money will ever bring your loved one back. Let your Jones Act lawyer help you seek monetary compensation for your devastating loss.

Jones Act Lawyer Showed Employer’s “Voluntary” Comp Payments Didn’t End Other Rights

An injured worker had accepted voluntary compensation payments from his employer under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act (LHWCA). Some months later, with no real warning, the employer just stopped making the payments, and the worker contacted a Jones Act lawyer. The question became whether or not the worker could still bring a seaman’s Jones Act claim for damages, after having received LHWCA payments.

The Deputy Commissioner (DC’s review LHWCA claims) charged that the injured worker in this case was somehow ‘wrongfully’ trying to make an abrupt “about face.” The Jones Act lawyer for the employee put it in simple terms, though, and believed the Jones Act (and not the LHWCA) actually applied. The DC also raised a highly technical reason to try and keep a federal court from making any decision in the matter, the Jones Act lawyer pointed out….the DC claimed the case really came down to only a “factual” question. This would mean, said the Jones Act lawyer, the DC was saying courts “must” follow the DC’s findings, whether the court “agrees” with the DC’s factual conclusions or not. Yet, the Jones Act lawyer was to successfully emphasize that “(t)here was nothing ‘sinister’ or suspicious about a worker who was disabled, deciding to go to a Jones Act lawyer to get his rights by whatever lawful remedies are available.” To make that happen, the Jones Act lawyer appealed the DC’s ruling into federal court.

The circumstances, the Jones Act lawyer was to point out, don’t justify stopping an injured employee from proving whether he was covered by the Jones Act (or put another way, not covered by the LHWCA). Instead, the evidence from the Jones Act lawyer showed that the employer voluntarily made payments under the LHWCA and then just “quit.” Then, the injured worker filed a formal claim, through a Jones Act lawyer, for additional benefits and for a decision on Jones Act coverage.

Jones Act Lawyer Forced Full Investigation of Jones Act Coverage On Seaman Status

At the Jones Act lawyer’s request, an appeals Judge reviewed the DC’s decision. That judge agreed with the Jones Act lawyer, and ordered a remand of the case to the DC, for a full hearing on the question of “seaman status.” The Jones Act lawyer introduced testimony, witnesses, and evidence during a two-day hearing. The DC only then found that the injured worker “was not a member of a crew of the vessel,” but was supposedly included under the coverage of the LHWCA.

Jones Act Lawyer Showed Other Court Cases Consistently Allowed Jones Act Suit To Follow LHWCA Claims

The Jones Act lawyer noted that the rule of allowing ‘successive’ Jones Act/LHWCA claims, when tested “the other way,” hadn’t prevented a Jones Act suit. The Jones Act lawyer noted several cases where an injured employee had first brought a Jones Act claim, and later sought an award under the LHWCA, as a result of a second accident under the same employer. This situation, emphasized the Jones Act lawyer, had even been approved by the US Supreme Court itself. It was “logical” for allowing the process to “work both ways.”

The Jones Act lawyer also noted the public and legal policies, which not only allowed, but encouraged flexible protection for seamen. Congress’s policy was clearly indicated in what the appeals court itself described as “unmistakable terms,” when “master and member” of the crew were covered only by the Jones Act. The maritime unions also stepped into the debate about preferring the Jones Act, and said the Jones Act is “superior to the relief afforded by the LHWCA.”

The federal court strongly agreed with the Jones Act lawyer, and concluded that “neither the facts nor the law supports a finding of presenting” a Jones Act suit after an LHWCA claim in this case. That court took the decision away from the DC and allowed Jones Act coverage. As rights for seamen have gradually improved, there occur conflicts between whether the LHWCA or the Jones Act actually applies. In this case, for some reason, the DC harbored a motive for trying to discourage a Jones Act suit by the seaman, through his Jones Act lawyer. These are among the vital details to be worked out, sooner rather than “later,” by meeting with an experienced Jones Act lawyer.

No Disappointment with a Jones Act Attorney

If you need a Jones Act attorney, make certain that you choose one that has experience. The Jones Act is a complex legal matter and you need only the best help you can find. Your lawyer should have years of experience in maritime claims, including a high success rate. Your lawyer should have trial experience because some maritime claims end up in court. Your Jones Act attorney should also be skilled in negotiating settlements because many maritime claims are settled out of court. Choose the best lawyer you can find and you will not be disappointed.

Seaman Injures Back and Seeks Help from Jones Act Attorney

Back injuries from heavy lifting often result in the need for a Jones Act attorney. S. Tillman, a Louisiana seaman aboard a fishing vessel, knows all about heavy lifting. Mr. Tillman was new to the maritime industry when he suffered an injury. Mr. Tillman was given the task of lifting various pieces of cargo and equipment and moving them to another location on the boat. Mr. Tillman expressed concern over the weight of some of the items, but his concerns were ignored. Fearful of losing his job, Mr. Tillman attempted to move the items. While trying to pick up a large piece of equipment, he wrenched his back. With the assistance of a Jones Act attorney, a claim was filed against the employer.

Mr. Tillman’s Jones Act attorney was able to prove the case with ease. Mr. Tillman should never have been ordered to move the heavy items without help. Maritime law has specific rules regarding the amount of weight a seaman can lift without aid. The equipment Mr. Tillman tried to move was much too heavy to lift alone. He was not offered assistance, even when he expressed concerns. Therefore, the employer was negligent. The case settled out of the courtroom for $1.3 million.

Secure Your Future with a Jones Act Attorney

If you, or someone you know, have been injured due to heavy lifting, you may need to file a claim. Contact a qualified Jones Act attorney for advice about your particular case. If a claim is filed, your attorney will help you get a fair settlement or award. Do not leave your future to the fates – let an experienced Jones Act attorney take charge and keep your future secure.