Category Archives: Container Ship Accidents

Container ship accidents can be deadly for workers at sea; contact a maritime and Jones Act lawyer for more information.

Are Overweight Shipping Containers Safe?

When cargo is loaded onto a container ship, someone on board is charged with figuring out where each container should be placed on the vessel. Cargo placed on container ships presents a particular problem because each container looks similar, so the person in charge of placement must make decisions based on the documented weight of each container. However, the problem is that the “declared weight” listed on each container manifest is often simply an estimate or completely wrong. As a result, container ship accidents occur, including containers falling overboard, severe listing or even capsizing, all of which can cause serious harm to workers on board. In 2010, the U.S. International Maritime Organization began looking at the issue of overweight containers and improper loading of containers onto vessels. After several years of study and several incidents that involved the capsizing of large container ships, the organization recommended that shippers be required…
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El Faro Families Seek Closure Through Photos

According to First Coast News, family members of El Faro victims have been allowed to view photos and video taken during the search for the missing vessel. Additionally, it was announced last week that CBS News would air a report on 60 Minutes, going behind the scenes of the El Faro search, showing video from the sunken cargo ship. If aired, it would be the first time that the public has been able to view video and photos from the investigation. The family members were allowed to see the photos and video prior to the report, through a webinar established by the National Transportation Safety Board. The vessel, which went missing this fall during Hurricane Joaquin, currently sits 15,000 feet below the sea. All 33 crewmembers aboard the vessel are believed to have died. Investigators were not able to recover the ship’s data recording unit. According to First Coast News,…
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When is the New Deadline for Filing El Faro Lawsuits?

According to the Florida Times-Union, a court ordered lawsuit deadline for family members of the El Faro disaster has been extended to February 19, 2016. Originally, the court ordered a deadline of December 21. However, it found that this date did not give parties enough time to prepare claims. The new deadline was requested by several insurance companies representing organizations that suffered cargo losses and the family members of lost crewmembers, according to the Times-Union. As we have noted in several blogs, El Faro’s operator, TOTE Maritime, has filed a Petition for Limitation of Liability in an attempt to limit the amount of money it may have to pay to family members. If allowed, family members of the 33 crewmembers aboard the vessel would only receive about $400,000, due to the petition. Many maritime attorneys are expected to argue against the Petition for Limitation of Liability in that TOTE Maritime…
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