Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Maersk Alabama Crew Member Files Lawsuit Against Ship Owner - Legal principles behind the claim

From the gcaptain:,

Today, in the 270th Judicial District Court in Houston, Harris County, Texas a lawsuit (case 2009-26129) was filed on behalf of Mr. Richard Hicks, a steward on board the Maersk Alabama. The suit alleges that Maesrk was negligent and that the Maersk Alabama was “unseaworthy” as that term is defined by federal maritime law. If you practice maritime law, you knew this was inevitable. We all know the facts as Captain Phillips’ plight was plastered over our televisions over Easter weekend and we all prayed for his safe return. However, it is not Captain Phillips who is suing Maersk. It is, instead, another crewmember who was on board the Maersk.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Clay County updates county’s ordinances regarding boating safety

From the Clay County Sheriff's Office: ATTENTION BOATERS!Clay County has updated and made corrections to the county’s ordinances regarding boating safety. The following is a list of the changes that you, as a boater need to be aware of. These changes will take effect on 12-13-2009 or when posted (as appropriate).

Monday, April 27, 2009

Defense Base Act for the those Suffering Serious Personal Injury

This is a blog post on the Defense Base Act. The Blog has many good articles on the DBA. If you have been injured in Iraq or Afghanistan we can get you assistance on the Defense Base Act. Call us at Clark & Watson for a free consultation.

Jones Act Article

Here is a short blog post on the Jones Act.

This firm like ours at Clark & Watson specializes in Jones Act cases. We have spent our entire careers learning the law and how to protect the rights of seamen who work on tugs, ships and other craft, on the water.

Dwayne Clark and Kristen Watson

How Crowded is Too Crowded on a Boat?? The Answer may not be as Clear as You Think??

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FL -- Pleasure boats have a Coast Guard plate mounted near the helm listing the maximum weight and the maximum number of people that can safely be on board. But the operator of the Jacksonville Boat Club says that information can be misleading. "They have a safety label and a tag on each and every one of the boats, and it's rated for weight," said Ryan Walker. "There is a capacity on there, but it's based on a 120-to-140 pound person. And as you know, most people getting on the boats are a little heavier than that, unless they have kids, and that kind of stuff." Walker demonstrated that point with thirteen adults and one infant boarding a boat similar to the one that had fourteen aboard when it crashed in Palm Valley, killing five people. "The legal capacity of the boat sometimes far exceeds what's common sense-wise," said Walker, pointing out the demonstration of fourteen people on his 23-foot boat.

Re-posted by Jacksonville Florida Maritime Lawyers / Clark & Watson PA

Mix of alcohol, boating is a concern in Jacksonville area

Lt. John Convoy looked outside Friday morning and saw a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky."That means it's going to be a busy weekend for us," said Convoy, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer who would be patrolling Jacksonville's waterways this weekend. With the weather warming and many sunny weekends ahead, Fish and Wildlife will be busy looking for boaters who are driving while intoxicated. The issue gained attention on Easter when a 22-foot boat crashed into an Intracoastal Waterway construction site. Five people were killed and nine were injured. The attorney representing three of the victims said the driver of the vessel, who was killed, wasn't intoxicated but alcohol was found on the boat.

Reposted by Jacksonville Florida Maritime Lawyers / Clark & Watson PA

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Palm Valley Jacksonville Boating Accident Faults Design of Boat

Here is the Times Union - story on the suit that has been filed against the boat manufacturer in this boating accident. This is another article about the design defect case that has been filed in Federal Court. Dwayne

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Robert Trenton Craig - Jacksonville Boating Accident Victim Remembered

Robert Trenton Craig, who died Sunday in a Florida boating accident, enjoyed surfing, skiing and seeing the world.

Palm Valley Boating Accident - 1/3 of all boating accidents in Florida are boats hitting docks

A state official in charge of managing the Intracoastal Waterway reiterated this week that docks in Palm Valley extend too far toward the center of the channel, hampering boaters in an area where five people were killed when their powerboat slammed into a tugboat moored at a dock. Also, the straightness of the 8-mile stretch of waterway through Palm Valley encourages some boaters to go too fast, officials said... About a third of Florida boating accidents in 2007 involved boats hitting docks and other stationary objects. In its latest annual report, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said 109 accidents involved fixed objects compared to 194 in which boats or other vessels collided with each other. ---------------------------------------------- When a boat strikes a stationary object it is called an allision not a collision under the maritime law. The law and legal liabilities of the potential parties are different than when there is a collision between two vessels. Dwayne

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Women injured in Florida boat crash remain hospitalized

By MARY CALLAHAN THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Published: Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 12:56 p.m. Last Modified: Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 12:56 p.m. Two Santa Rosa women injured in a Florida boating accident remained hospitalize Thursday at Shands Jacksonville hospital in Jacksonville, a spokeswoman said.Related Links: 3 Santa Rosa women still hospitalized in deadly Florida boat crash 2 Santa Rosans among 5 dead in Florida boat crash Alcohol use, speed investigated in criminal probe of crash External Links: Facebook memorial to crash victims Amanda Bartson, 22, was in good condition, the spokeswoman said, while Jaime Hole, also 22, was said to be in fair condition.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Family, friends mourn the dead in Sunday's boating accident in Intracoastal waterway at Palm Valley

PALM VALLEY — Mourners from coast to coast will awaken Tuesday morning with an emptiness caused by an explosion of fiberglass and metal that left bodies broken on an otherwise peaceful Intracoastal Waterway. Federal and state investigators said they expect to spend a week or more piecing through wreckage and witness accounts to determine the cause of Sunday’s boating accident that left five people dead and nine injured. Investigators will try to determine if alcohol, speed or excessive weight were possible factors when the overcrowded 22-foot Crownline pleasure boat slammed into a moored 25-foot tugboat, authorities said. The empty tug and a barge were in place to help build a dock for a home under construction on Roscoe Boulevard South.

Monday, April 13, 2009

State agency to probe fatal Jacksonville Intracoastal Florida boating accident - Posted by Jacksonville Boating Accident Lawyers

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Florida Law enforcement officials said Monday they had launched an investigation into a tragic boating accident near St. Augustine, Florida, that took the lives of five people and seriously injured seven others.

According to FWC investigators, a 22-foot boat with 12 people on board rammed into the rear and right side of a 25-foot tugboat. "We are still investigating and haven't come to any conclusions yet," said Carol Pratt, spokeswoman for FWC. She said they still do not know who was driving the boat. They also are waiting for victims' next of kin to be notified before releasing any of their names and ages.

St Johns County Intracoastal Waterway Boating Accident Leave 5 dead and nine injured - Boat / Tug Posted by Jacksonville Florida Maritime Lawyers

This is a report of a boating accident where a pleasure boat struck a tug and/or barge in the intracoastal waterway. The title to this post links to the Florida Times Union. The Times Union article raises many possible issues including potential overloading, speed, lookout, alcohol consumption, and others. The facts are rarely clear in the beginning of an investigation like this. The reporters, victims and even authorities have a hard time sorting out the actual facts. There could be questions of where and how the tug and barge were moored and whether they were in the proper and safe place under the rules of navigation. Also, this report raises lighting issues although some reports say it happened before dark. In many of these cases issues also arise as to the proper placement and permitting of docks under construction. More and complete facts should come clear as the investigation proceeds. Dwayne Clark

St Johns County Intracoastal Waterway Boating Accident Leave 5 dead and nine injured - Posted by Jacksonville Florida Maritime Lawyers

This was a terrible accident where a boat apparently struck a tug in the intracoastal.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Maersk Alabama - Pentagon: U.S. crew in control of hijacked ship but Captain may be hostage

The whole world probably knows by now that the Captain was rescued by the Navy. Looks like the Navy and Navy Seals did a good job on the rescue.

NAIROBI, Kenya - Pentagon officials said Wednesday that the American crew of a U.S.-flagged cargo ship had retaken control from Somali pirates who hijacked the vessel far off the Horn of Africa. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because information was still preliminary. But they said the hijacked crew had apparently contacted the private company that operates the ship. NBC News reported that none of the American citizens were injured. See this article also. And this follow-up. This report suggests the Captain remains a hostage.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Key Elements of Yacht Insurance, Q&A - Jones Act and Longshoreman Suits

Accidents happen. That comes as no surprise to those in the insurance industry, but what may be a surprise is the fact that the majority of maritime accidents occur in good weather with perfect visibility. In the following Q&A, Joseph McNulty, founding member of Carroll McNulty & Kull, joins Richard Furman and John Orzel, members of the same law firm, in a discussion on the key elements of marine insurance and what underwriters and claims professionals need to know about federal laws governing the maritime industry.