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The Jones Act FAQs

The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a federal law that—among other things—is intended to protect maritime workers who are injured while at sea. The following are answers to frequently asked questions about this little-known legislation as it pertains to personal injury. What Does the Jones Act Do for


Seaman missing after tugboat sinking in Gulf of Mexico

A seaman is still missing after the tugboat he was on sank in the Gulf of Mexico early Monday morning. Four crew members were aboard the Crosby Commander at the time of the sinking which occurred 30 nautical miles off Louisiana. Three managed to escape in a life raft, but the fourth member was unaccounted


Common Mistakes Seamen Make in a Jones Act Case

If you’re an American who works on the water, you may have heard of the Jones Act in passing already. This statute provides employees with protection in the event of an accident when you aren’t on land, superseding international waters laws that disallow you from claiming worker’s compensation benefits when on the water. The Jones


$1.25 Million Judgment Awarded to Injured Fisherman

Fisherman Awarded Millions after Captain and Boat Abandoned Him Attorney Matthew Shaffer obtained a $1.25 million dollar judgement from a federal district court in Galveston, Texas for his client, a commercial fisherman. The 54-year-old worker from Palacios, Texas was tying lines on a commercial fishing boat when he became trapped in marsh wetlands. He injured


El Faro Data Recorder Brought to Surface

Recorder hopes to bring light to sinking investigation. SMSH Legal reported back in April  that the voyage data-recorder of the El Faro had been located on the ocean floor of the Bahamas. It was finally retrieved Monday night by USNS Apache crewmembers, bringing a glimmer of hope into discovering what challenges the crewmembers faced the


Injured Crew Member was Medevacked Off the Coast of Florida

Florida Maritime Injury An injured crew member was medevacked from a tanker, Eagle Texas, 90-miles east of Jacksonville Florida. A Coast Guard Air Station helicopter crew transported the injured man on Wednesday just before 7 p.m. The man was reported to have sustained a head injury after he fell into a cargo hold. The Eagle


SMSH Files Lawsuit for Injured Seaman

Attorney Matthew Shaffer recently filed a case in federal court in New Orleans, LA against Southern Towing Company. Our client was ordered by a supervisor to jump across a gap from one barge to another. When he landed on the second barge, he slipped and fell on ice, causing him to sustain a serious neck


Towing Tugboat Exploded off the Coast of Florida on Monday

Towing tugboat, Thomas Dann, exploded several miles away from Marineland, Florida this past Monday. The engine room began smoking and later erupted into flames as the tug was towing a barge in convoy. Six crew members evacuated the boat via life raft and were later rescued by local fisherman before the fire set off two


Matt Shaffer files lawsuit against Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Matt Shaffer has filed a lawsuit on behalf of his client, a vessel-based musician employed by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Our client sustained serious injuries to his right leg and knee after his lower bunk bed broke.In the lawsuit, it is alleged that Royal Caribbean Ltd. failed to provide a safe working environment and failed to


Attorney Matt Shaffer Filed Lawsuit for Client After Maritime Accident

Matt Shaffer recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of his client injured in a maritime accident. The client was employed as a captain by The Dutra Group and was ordered to move a barge with the M/V Elbert Lewey push boat in adverse weather conditions. As the client underwent the operation, a wave picked up


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