Can a Company Be Sued for Building an Unseaworthy Vessel?

Can a Company Be Sued for Building an Unseaworthy Vessel?

A False Claims Act case has been revived against Bollinger Shipyards Inc. Bollinger had made eight defective hulls for U.S. Coast Guard ships, which cost $78 million in modifications. The ships were considered unseaworthy, but a Louisiana federal judge had ended the lawsuit in 2013, because the prosecutors did not show that the company intentionally produced the defective hulls.

Now, the case has been revived, because a panel has decided that Bollinger had done enough to warrant a lawsuit. They believe that the company knowingly input false calculations and then submitted it to the Coast Guard.

Rather than requiring that Bollinger knew the correct calculation and then submitted an incorrect calculation, the panel is suggesting that submitting a false calculation, despite knowing that it was or might be incorrect, was enough for a lawsuit. Additionally, emails may show that the CEO of Bollinger may have been trying to avoid a review of the hulls’ resistance.

An unseaworthy vessel can highly increase the risk of severe injury or death to a seaman aboard a vessel.

What Does Unseaworthiness Mean?

In the video above, Jones Act attorney David Anderson explains the meaning of unseaworthiness. It is required that a ship is safe for all passengers or workers when at sea.

The Jones Act helps in securing compensation for injured seamen who are hurt due to an unseaworthy vessel. Compensation can help in paying for lost wages, hospital costs, pain and suffering and more. A nationwide maritime attorney with an intricate knowledge of maritime law is your best bet for physical and financial recovery.

Latti & Anderson LLPNationwide Maritime Attorneys