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Lawsuits filed after offshore collision, 1 by Louisiana seaman

The waters that border the coasts of Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are their own subset of the larger economy. The Gulf of Mexico is bustling with ships, barges and bases for the oil, fishing and shipping industries and more. As unique as is this economy, so is the law that covers damages caused by negligence in these waters.

On March 22, a collision occurred between a barge being pushed by a tug and a 585-foot bulk carrier. This collision has already spurred a number of lawsuits, including ones filed by commercial fisherman, cruise boat passengers and the company transporting the marine fuel oil on the barge. The most recent one was filed by a seaman from Louisiana that was seriously injured in the crash.

This lawsuit was filed on the basis that both of the companies involved in the collision committed negligence, both failing to properly supervise their crews. This failure, alleged the complaint, didn’t just result in the collision that caused the barge to sink to the bottom of the channel in Galveston Bay. It also caused the woman to suffer serious injuries.

The injuries that the woman suffered affected her back, her shoulders and her eyes. These injuries added up to damages of $1 million that the woman says her employer and another party involved are responsible for.

As noted above, maritime accidents are unique. These accidents occur in waters that aren’t clearly defined by boundaries -- like those that occur on a specific stretch of road in a specific county of a specific state.

It is the law that covers these offshore accidents that can be extremely tricky to navigate, which is why a Lake Charles personal injury attorney that focuses specifically on maritime accidents can make all the difference in the outcome of a case.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, “Seaman seeks $1M for injuries from March barge collision in ship channel,” Annie Cosby, April 22, 2014

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