Barge Captain Sentenced to Prison for Fatal Accident

The Chicago Tribune reported recently that the captain of a boat that was pushing a barge that exploded in 2005 has been sentenced to jail in connection to a seaman’s death.

According to the Tribune, the captain, Dennis M. Egan, 36, was found guilty of one count of negligent manslaughter of a seaman and one count of negligently discharging oil pollution to a navigable waterway. Egan was operating a vessel that was pulling a barge when it exploded, killing a deckhand and spilling thousands of gallons of a petroleum product into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

A judge found that Egan ordered the worker who died to use a propane torch to heat a frozen discharge pump before the explosion happened. The barge was traveling to the Ameropan Oil facility in Chicago when the incident occurred in a busy waterway. The explosion reportedly sent debris onto nearby bridges and into traffic in the city.

Egan admitted to investigators that he ordered the victim to use the torch to thaw the heat pump.

Aside from the criminal charges, the victim’s family settled lawsuits against Exxon and Egan, getting a reported $100,000 from Egan under maritime laws. It remains unclear what was paid to the family by Exxon.

Our Maritime Injury Attorneys Represent Burn Accident Victims and Their Family Members

Earlier this year, we discussed how our maritime attorneys successfully obtained an $8 million settlement for a deceased marine engineer’s family. The engineer sustained burns over his entire body from a fire that was the result of a cracked pipe connecting an engine with an auxiliary lubricating system aboard a vessel.

Remember, if your loved one suffers severe burns or dies in a maritime accident, you may be entitled to damages under the Jones Act or some other form of maritime law. In the video above, attorney David Anderson explains how the Jones Act applies to injured maritime workers.

You can reach our maritime attorneys by filing out the contact form located on this page or by using the number listed above.

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