Maritime Attorney Matthew Shaffer Predicts Seacor Will Try and File a Limitation of Liability Defense
PORT FOURCHON, La., April 14, 2021 / PRNewswire / – A large merchant ship reportedly capsized on Tuesday afternoon in the Gulf of Mexico with 18 crew members on board. The ship has been identified as the SEACOR POWER, an offshore lift boat operated by SEACOR Marine, LLC. The lift boat capsized south of Grand Isle, Louisiana walked around after a heavy storm. The storm caused considerable damage and possibly hit several ships.
The US Coast Guard is making efforts to rescue the crew on board the capsized ship. A search plane was dispatched to the area and US Coast Guard officials from Texas joined the effort. According to reports, 7 of the 18 crew members were rescued. The status of the other crew members remains unclear.
Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, LLP’s maritime attorneys have represented thousands of maritime workers and their families because of serious injuries and deaths on the water. Lawyer Matthew Shaffer assumes that SEACOR Marine will likely file a complaint about the limitation of liability in order to limit the damage related to the capsized ship. The Limitation of Liability Act allows a ship owner to limit his liability for damage to the value of the ship involved in the event that triggered the lawsuit. If successful, this legal maneuver could serve to restrict the rights and legal remedies available to the crew members on board the capsized lift boat and their families. “In my 30 years of maritime practice, I have seen it done and defeated. We routinely combat complaints about limitation of liability on behalf of those injured in marine accidents across the country. The privacy or knowledge of the shipowner is deprived of the owner its ability to limit its responsibility for damage, “said Matthew Shaffer.
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Matthew D. Shaffer is a Proctor in Admiralty and from the Board in Personal Injury Trial Law of the Texas Technical Committee for Legal Specialization. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a marine casualty, contact Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP today for a free case assessment at 1-800-282-2122.
SOURCE Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP