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June 2010 Archives

Fishing Vessel Goes Aground Near Valdez, Alaska

Three fishermen have been recovered from the beach near Valdez Narrow after they intentionally grounded their vessel to avoid sinking. The three crewmen were aboard the 58 foot fishing vessel Copasetic when it reportedly began taking on water. The owner and crewmen grounded the vessel then abandoned ship in a small skiff which they used to get to shore. The vessel is not a threat to navigation at this time and the owner, Jonathan Wilkie, is making arrangements to remove the vessel from the shore. It is estimated that the vessel was carrying 1,000 gallons of diesel and 400 gallons of gasoline. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Majestic Blue Sinks In South Pacific -Two Missing and 22 Crewmen Survive

The MAJESTIC BLUE has sunk in the South Pacific 925 miles south of American Samoa. Two crewmen are reported as missing, and 22 crewmen have reportedly survived the sinking. A sister ship, the PACIFIC BREEZE, reportedly rescued the surviving crewmen. The cause of the casualty is under investigation. The U.S. Coast Guard is assisting the government of Fiji in conducting a search for the two missing crew members.

Judge Rules Surveillance Has No Probative Value in Maintenance and Cure Claim

The United States District Court has ruled that a surveillance video taken of a Jones Act seaman had no probative value in the seaman's maintenance and cure claim. In Meir v. Wood Towing, 2010 WL 2195700, the employer disputed the seaman's right to maintenance and cure and refused to pay the seaman's back surgery bill and other related medical expenses of $83,000. The injured seaman's treating doctor recommended surgery for the crewman who alleged he had slipped and fell on a slippery substance on a barge. The injured seaman had an abnormal MRI and discogram at L5-S1. The employer requested a second opinion by an orthopedic physician who initially agreed with the treating doctor that an anterior surgical fusion was reasonable.

Three Bills Introduced In Congress to Increase Damages Recoverable In Maritime Injury Cases

The catastrophe that caused the explosion and sinking of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon has focused attention on the need to change damages available to injury victims in maritime torts. Three separate bills have been introduced in the United States Congress to amend and repeal out- of-date Federal Statutes.

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