There is, perhaps, no more volatile area in maritime law than the defense of U.S. personal injury cases. Maritime work on or around vessels, whether by seamen, longshoremen or other marine workers, is an often hazardous occupation and continues to occasion a high incidence of injury. Seamen have no workers’ compensation structure and, in order to legally recover from their employer due to personal injury, must commence a lawsuit against the employer. Longshoremen, although having compensation systems, will often file a third-party claim against the shipowner for injuries that occur on the vessels on which they are working.
We have considerable experience in litigating maritime personal injury cases through trial and appeal in both State and Federal Courts and have a record of successfully defending such cases. We have three partners with over twenty-five years of experience in the defense of personal injury cases, and three more with over 15 years in the field.
Our approach is to provide as thorough a defense as possible in an economical way. This approach includes not only an intensive investigation as to the liability facts, but also a full examination of the medical aspects of the case. If our investigation indicates that a settlement is warranted, we promptly advise our client and seek authority to commence productive negotiations. If our conclusion is that there is no or questionable liability, or that the claimant’s damages are exaggerated, then we are fully prepared to vigorously defend any litigation brought against our client. With this approach, not only have we avoided catastrophic results, but we have managed to turn away claimants with questionable claims.
In addition to defending traditional maritime personal injury cases such as Jones Act cases and claims brought under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act we also have an extensive personal injury practice in: Defense Base Act cases, occupational disease defense, and claims arising out of terminal liability and trucking and motor carrier matters.