Doyle LLP’s attorneys have years of experience in filing and winning suits against offshore boating and oil production companies under admiralty and maritime law matters for seaman or crewmembers that are injured offshore. One such case is a case that Doyle LLP to brought against McDermott International, Inc., J.Ray McDermott, S.A., J. Ray McDermott, Inc., and McDermott, Inc. under maritime and admiralty laws called the Jones Act and the doctrine of unseaworthiness.
Doyle LLP filed suit against McDermott International alleging negligence under the Jones Act and the unseaworthiness of its vessel, the M/V Amazon, an offshore construction support vessel that is owned and operated by McDermott according to maritime law. Doyle LLP’s client was assigned as a crewmember, with the specific title of Deckhand on this vessel. As a member of the crew of the vessel, Doyle LLP’s client falls under the protections of the Jones Act. As such, after he was injured on or about March 24, 2018, Doyle LLP filed suit under the Jones Act and doctrine of unseaworthiness. On the date of the injury, McDermott failed its duty to the Plaintiff by not making the M/V Amazon and its appurtenances suitable for its intended use, including improperly training the crew on the proper handling and safe storage of tools and equipment. As a result, Doyle LLP’s client tripped and fell over an improperly stored air hose and suffered injury to his back and body generally, necessitating surgery and rendering him unable to resume work.
This particular injured worker was entitled to the protections of maritime and admiralty law because of his status as a seaman. A seaman is generally defined as a person who is assigned to a specific vessel or fleet of vessels owned or operated by his employer and who contributes to the mission of the vessel or vessels. Often offshore workers spend time working on land and at sea. However, maritime and admiralty law, as modified by the Jones Act, generally requires that an injured worker spend at least 33% of their time working offshore to be entitled to the protections of the Jones Act. In this case, substantially all of Doyle LLP’s client’s work was on the vessel, so the suit was brought under the Jones Act based upon his work status. Maritime and admiralty matters often can be more complicated than typical cases. Other laws such as general maritime law, the Death on the High Seas Act, the Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act, or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act can apply depending on the facts of the injury and status of offshore employment. As such, it is important to retain an experienced maritime or admiralty attorney in these cases. The Jones Act provides different remedies than other maritime laws. For example, the Jones Act entitles an injured worker to maintenance and cure to pay a portion of lost earnings and living expenses and for medical treatment, until the injured worker is at maximum cure. These amounts are owed regardless of fault.
In addition, the Jones Act requires a maritime employer to provide a reasonably safe workplace, with a properly trained crew, and well-maintained walkways that are free from clutter and debris. Admiralty law imposes a similar non-delegable requirement to provide a seaworthy vessel, without dangerous obstructions in walkways.
Based upon the alleged violations of the Jones Act and duty of unseaworthiness, this Doyle LLP’s injured offshore client seeks damages for an injured lumbar spine (low back). The damages sought and that are available under maritime law are the cost of surgery, other medical bills, lost earning capacity, mental anguish, and physical impairment, among others. Typically, an attorney with experience in maritime law is necessary to understand the types of damages that are permitted in offshore admiralty and maritime cases.
If you, a family member, or a friend have been the victim of an offshore injury, near a dock, or in any maritime environment, a lawyer with a background in analyzing maritime and admiralty claims may be necessary. We encourage you to contact the attorneys at Doyle LLP to get answers, at no cost to you, about what compensation you might be owed under the Jones Act, general maritime law, or the various other admiralty rules that offer protections to offshore workers.