The attorneys at Latti & Anderson LLP are proud to announce that they have successfully obtained an $8 million settlement for a severely burned marine engineer’s family.
The case involved an engineer working on a tugboat that was purchased by a defendant, which had undergone a major overhaul including complete rebuild of the vessel’s main diesel engines. A couple days into a voyage on the boat, the engineer was working in the engine room on the starboard side of the vessel when a pipe containing pressurized oil cracked spraying lubricate towards the engine.
Upon contact with the exhaust manifold, the oil ignited causing in a continuous jet of burning flames to shoot up to the ceiling of the engine room and the stairwell- the only means of escape from the engine room. As the engine room filled with fire and smoke, the engineer was able to make it up the stairwell and emerged onto the deck completely engulfed in flames.
Sadly, there was not a spot on the engineer’s body that was not burned, as some of his body parts were completely burned off. The victim remained on the tugboat for three hours until he was airlifted off the vessel and transferred to a hospital. As he was awaiting a lift, the man was conscious and he reportedly talked with fellow crewmembers and asked them to convey messages to his family. After arriving at the hospital, tragically, the man died 18 hours later.
Through investigation by different agencies and experts, it was determined that the fire on the vessel was caused by a crack within a pipe connecting the engine with an auxiliary lubricating system. The crack caused pressurized lube oil to spray out and ignite on the engine manifold creating a fireball in the engine room. In our lawsuit, we successfully argued that the owner and operator put the engineer at risk due to the vessels’ unseaworthiness and their negligence and that the co defendant repairer was negligent in its repair and overhaul of the engine.
The settlement was solely for the marine engineer’s horrific pre death conscious pain and suffering prior to his death.
The case was settled after mediation and several years of litigating the complex maritime legal issues and defenses that arose in the litigation.
Having a Maritime Injury Incident Investigated
As this case shows, if you or a loved one was involved in a maritime accident, you should contact an experienced maritime attorney who understands the various laws under which employees can obtain payment for their injuries from an employer, the owner and operator of the vessel or a third party. Speaking to an attorney may be in your best interest.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Nationwide Maritime Attorneys