Under the General Maritime Law, a vessel owner is required to maintain a seaworthy vessel. If any part of the vessel’s equipment or machinery is defective, fails under normal operation or is otherwise not fit for its intended purpose, a crew member injured as a result may bring a claim for damages and compensation.
Each vessel must have properly working and appropriate equipment for each employee. The vessel must also be a safe place to work and live for weeks or months at a time. It must follow Coast Guard rules and regulations as well as the ISM Code (International Safety Management) and OSHA regulations. If the vessel does not meet these requirements, it can be considered unseaworthy.
The Norfolk maritime lawyers at Kalfus & Nachman have successfully represented clients whose injuries were caused by unseaworthy conditions including:
- The sinking of a vessel
- A weak block and tackle chain
- Physical assault by another crew member
- Leaking hydraulic and fuel lines and pipes
- Mistakes made by improperly trained crew members
- Undermanned crews (not assigning enough men to do the work)
- Incompetent crew
- Defective equipment
- Failure to issue safety equipment
- Malfunction of winches, dredges, cables, hydraulics and other equipment
- Unreasonably slippery and cluttered decks and obstructions on deck
- Unsafe ladders
- Improperly equipped vessels
- Improper packing of stores
- Failure of hatch covers
- Cables that snapped
- Failure of vessel equipment
- Excessive overtime work causing stress and fatigue
- Unsafe methods of work
- Carrying heavy loads
Our lawyers have the resources and knowledge to investigate and pursue unseaworthiness claims. We work with experienced and qualified maritime safety experts to identify unseaworthy equipment and conditions, building a strong and detailed claim for our injured clients. If you have been hurt because of an unseaworthy condition on a vessel, call us today at (800) 361-0430.