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The SMS Legal Blog

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

What is the Longshoremen & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act?

November 12th, 2015 by Emilia

The Longshoremen and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act or LHWCA for short was created in 1927 to protect maritime employees. This act provides medical care and compensation for them when they are injured or disabled from accidents on the navigable waters of the United States and in areas to build, load and repair vessels.   It

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

Why El Faro’s Limitation of Liability Complaint Will Likely Fail

November 10th, 2015 by Ruth

On September 29, 2015, the S.S. El Faro set sail from Jacksonville, Fl. in a final voyage that ended in the death of all 33 crewmembers. Anticipating costly litigation from the families affected by this tragedy, the ship’s owner, Tote Maritime, filed a Limitation of Liability complaint with a federal court in Florida. Maritime attorney Matthew


The Jones Act

November 5th, 2015 by Ruth

The Jones Act, formally known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is the federal legislation that protects American workers who are injured at sea. This allows employees who have been involved in an accident or become sick doing their job to receive compensation from their employers. An employee can pursue negligence claims when the

Federal Court Sets Deadline to File Claims Related to El Faro Tragedy

November 4th, 2015 by Emilia

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida has ordered all persons asserting claims related to the sinking of the S.S. El Faro to file their respective claims with that court by December 21, 2015. Failure to comply with the strict deadline may result in a claim being defaulted or barred. The 40-year-old

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

Questions to Ask Your El Faro Maritime Attorney

November 2nd, 2015 by Amanda Coleman

Questions to Ask Your El Faro Maritime Attorney   On October 7, 2015, the United States Coast Guard suspended its search and rescue mission for the crewmembers aboard El Faro, a cargo ship that succumbed to the forces of Hurricane Joaquin in its final voyage to Puerto Rico. Authorities continue to investigate the tragedy that

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

2 Students Killed in Houston School Bus Accident

September 15th, 2015 by Arthur Schector

Two students died in a Houston school bus accident Tuesday morning on the 610 Loop. Two other students and the bus driver were also injured. According to the Houston Police Department, the Houston Independent School District bus careened off an overpass after being hit by another vehicle on the eastbound frontage road of the South

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

Keep Kids Safe In Cars During Child Passenger Safety Week

September 14th, 2015 by Arthur Schector

The leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13 years old is car accidents. According to accident information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 2 children were killed and 345 injured every day in 2013. Approximately half of the fatalities could have been prevented if proper child safety seats were used.

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

5 Tips For Preventing Scaffolding Accidents

September 10th, 2015 by Arthur Schector

Scaffolding is common in many workplaces, from construction sites to refineries to offshore oil rigs. When these structures are poorly built or improperly installed, workers can be seriously injured or killed. Common Scaffolding Injuries The most common scaffolding accidents are falls from the structure and being hit by objects that fall from it. Common injuries

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

Worker Killed in Port Arthur Refinery Accident

September 8th, 2015 by Arthur Schector

A worker was killed in a Port Arthur refinery accident at the Total Petrochemical plant on Saturday. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said 66-year-old Thomas Courts, of Denton, Texas, was driving a bulldozer that became submerged in a pit of 200-degree refinery wastewater. Courts was a contract worker employed by Kinder Morgan, which operates a coke

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

7 Bicycle Safety Tips to Share with Your Child

August 23rd, 2015 by Arthur Schector

For many Houston-area residents, the first day of school has arrived! Hopefully, cooler fall weather will soon follow — along with more outdoor activities for you and your family. Riding a bike is a great way for kids to get exercise and have fun. But every year, approximately 300,000 children in the U.S. are taken