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Archive for the ‘Admirality / Maritime Law’ Category

Transocean Settles First Deepwater Horizon Death Case

Transocean has settled its first lawsuit filed on behalf of Karl Kleppinger Jr.’s family. Karl was one of the 11 oil rig crew members killed on the night of April 20, 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Karl Kleppinger Jr.’s family was one of the first to sue over deaths and injuries suffered by the 126 crew members who were on the rig when it blew out while drilling a well for BP Plc off the Louisiana coast. The explosion caused the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, with more than 4.1 million barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. ... Read Full Story

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Worse Than Exxon Valdez Disaster

The Louisiana Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill is an environmental nightmare of colossal proportion. BP is drilling a “relief well” to divert the oil, but it could take three months to complete. By then, the Exxon Valdez disaster that destroyed Prince William Sound, Alaska in 1989 is expected to pale in comparison to this disaster.

The Coast Guard said the growing slick is 45 miles wide at its broadest point and 100 miles long – about the length of New Jersey’s coastline… Read Full Story

Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Investigation is Ongoing

HOUSTON, TX – Offshore injury lawyers, Gordon, Elias and Seely, LLP, have filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family of Karl Kleppinger, Jr, one of the missing 11 men, who to this date has not been found.

Initially, the law firm contemplated filing a possible Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in the Transocean Deepwater Horizon explosion that took place on April 20, 2010. A TRO is filed for many reasons – one of which would be to preserve evidence or not to cause spoliation of evidence… ... Read Full Story

Transocean Oil Rig Explosion Lawyer Todd Elias is Helping Family of Missing Worker

HOUSTON, TX – Eleven people are still missing after an oil rig explosion on April 20th in The Gulf of Mexico 41 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The families said that they were told by representatives early Friday morning that their loved ones are considered dead.

Transocean Deepwater Horizon sinking into The Gulf Of Mexico on April 22, 2010

Todd Elias, a Houston maritime lawyer, who is representing Tracy Kleppinger, the wife of worker Karl Kleppinger Jr. of Natchez, Miss., said his client was told by rig owner Transocean Ltd. that her husband Karl Kleppinger, Jr is considered deceased. Attorney, Steve Gordon, said the company has sent grievers to be with Tracy Kleppinger.  ... Read Full Story

Deepwater Oil Rig Explosion Coast Guard Update; 11 Workers Still Missing

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The US Coast Guard held a press conference at 3:00 p.m. at Coast Guard 8th District headquarters in the Hale Boggs building in the New Orleans Central Business District to update the status of the oil rig explosion of Deepwater Horizon that took place Tuesday night at 10:00 PM in the Gulf of Mexico 52 miles off the coast of Venice, LA.

An explosion rocked an offshore oil drilling platform, sending a column of fire into the sky and touching off a frantic search at sea for at least 11 originally reported missing. Most of the 126 workers on the rig Deepwater Horizon were believed to have escaped safely after the explosion that happened about 10 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, 2010.

Photo Courtesy: Dan McDonald - Coast Guard vessels try to extinguish the fire on DEEPWATER HORIZON. These pictures are believed to have been taken by a nearby Chevron worker

Rear Adm. Mary Landry, commander of the Coast Guard’s 8th district headquarters; David Hayes, deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of the Interior; Adrian Rose, vice president of Transocean; and David Rainey and vice president of BP were at the conference to answer questions… ... Read Full Story

15 Workers Missing in Oil Rig Explosion in Gulf of Mexico

VENICE, LA – An explosion has occurred on Transocean’s oil rig, “Deepwater Horizon”, in The Gulf of Mexico about 52 miles south of Venice, LA. The explosion, which happened around 10 p.m. Tuesday night, forced all personnel to abandon ship. The USCG is on the scene, along with several other vessels, conducting search patterns for the missing.

Photo taken 10 miles out from the explosion in The Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Venice, LA

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser in an interview with, said there were 15 people still not accounted for. He said that earlier the Coast Guard located and had a visual contact with one of the rescue capsules off the rig but didn’t know if all of the missing people were on there now… ... Read Full Story

Maritime Lawyer Discusses Jones Act & Maritime Law

Maritime lawyer, Steve Gordon

Maritime lawyer, Steve Gordon

Maritime injuries and accidents can occur in a myriad of situations. Depending upon the location of injury and the nature of the situation, e.g., whether it was a commercial accident or a non-commercial situation, governs whether you need a maritime lawyer or just a regular personal injury lawyer.  Clearly, injuries on a jet ski, or a party pontoon boat can be very injurious, but they do not require a maritime lawyer. A maritime injury lawyer is a specialized lawyer versed in the legal principals of General Maritime Law and the Jones Act.

General Maritime Law is a body of law developed by the federal courts through jurisprudence. The federal courts have an Admiralty “side” bestowed upon them from the United States Constitution. This Admiralty side is a court of equity as well as court of law.
The Jones Act was enacted by Congress in and around 1916. It actually is a culmination of a series of three laws passes between 1916 and 1920. The Jones act was named after its principle proponent, Senator Wesley Jones (1863-1932) from the state of Washington, urged passage of a law that would support the growing merchant marine industry of the United States. In light of this, The Jones Act became law at 46 U.S.C. §688 et seq. (re-codified in 2006 at 46 U.S.C. §30104 et seq.). The Jones Act covers maritime employees that sustain an injury while in the course and scope of employment.
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Seaman’s Rights Protected Awarded Punitive Damages

supreme-courtOn Thursday, June 25th, the United States Supreme Court decided a case styled Atlantic Sounding Co., Inc. et al. v Edgar L. Townsend 2009 WL 1789469 (U.S. June 25, 2009).  This case marked the Supreme Court’s decision to protect a seaman’s right to receive damages for an employers’ willful and wanton disregard of a maintenance and cure obligation.

Petitioners allegedly refused to pay maintenance and cure to respondent Townsend for injuries he suffered while working on its tugboat. Townsend filed suit under the Jones Act and general maritime law, alleging arbitrary and willful failure to provide maintenance and cure. He filed similar counterclaims in the declaratory judgment action, seeking punitive damages for the maintenance and cure claim… ... Read Full Story

Captain Held Hostage Says ‘I’m Not A Hero, The Military Is’

Reported by The AP Associated Press

UNDERHILL, Vt. – The unassuming ship captain who escaped the clutches of Somali pirates said upon his triumphant arrival home Friday that he was just an ordinary seaman doing his job, not a hero, and he praised the Navy for its daring rescue mission.

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“They’re the superheroes,” Richard Phillips said. “They’re the titans. They’re impossible men doing an impossible job, and they did the impossible with me. … They’re at the point of the sword every day, doing an impossible job every day.”… ... Read Full Story