Cargo Loss and Damage
- Successfully obtaining dismissal of a $63M claim for alleged mis-delivery of a shipment of televisions on the basis that admiralty jurisdiction had terminated when the original ocean bill of lading contract of carriage was converted to a post-discharge land-based storage contract.
- Defending a parcel tanker operator in arbitration against claim in excess of $280,000 for cargo contamination and obtaining dismissal of the claim by proving that the alleged contamination was based on a fraudulent cargo reconditioning scheme in the Far East.
- Successfully litigating Interpleader action brought against conflicting shippers of cargo, where vessel owner was awarded the full freight, demurrage, court costs and attorney fees.
- Defending slot charterer against cargo claims in excess of $10 million arising out of total loss of container vessel which broke in half at sea.
- Successfully asserting a "fault of the shipper" defense in a cargo litigation resulting in a dismissal of the suit against the vessel owners.
- Obtaining dismissal of $250,000 cargo claim for non-delivery on basis that named Plaintiff was not the real party in interest.
- Successfully maintaining package limitation defense on $600,000 claim for damage to machinery where Plaintiff argued a deviation had taken place.
Collision and Casualties
- Representing owners of fully loaded bulk carrier which lost main engine power and struck shoreside hotel and shopping mall in New Orleans. Obtained dismissal of majority of business interruption claims by mall shop operators, and negotiated property damage claims totaling over $50 million.
- Trial of a collision between a nuclear submarine and container vessel, involving damages in excess of $6 million, resulting in an apportionment of 80 / 20 in our client's favor.
- Trial of a collision and limitation action arising out of a collision between a container vessel and a U.S. Navy destroyer, where the initial claim exceeded $60 million, resulting in a grant of limitation in our client's favor.
- Defending both personal injury and property damage components of a $15 million allision case, involving the destruction of two container gantry cranes and serious injuries to the crane operators.
General Commercial Litigation
- Recovering $5.2M for the sellers of coal, where receiver refused payment alleging off-spec condition. This was preceded by an attachment of the foreign defendant's assets at various local banks, thus providing a fund with which to satisfy the eventual recovery.
- Setting up a coordinating center to administer $12M in passenger claims presented against a PL 89-777 Section 3 cruise line guaranty following collapse of Regency Cruises; settling all claims and obtaining full indemnity for the Guarantor under the counter-guaranty; obtaining a Summary Judgment rejecting the $3.6M claim of a major credit card company seeking subrogation under the Sec. 3 guaranty; recovering in excess of $2M in unpaid premiums.
- Acting as counsel, advisor and claims agents for a corporate surety in the Premier Cruise Line bankruptcy to oversee $20M in potential claims under a $15M PL 89-777 Section 3 performance bond; planning strategy for the handling and defense of potential claims against the bond, analyzing reservations data for over 50,000 passengers on cancelled voyages, issuing press releases, establishing a claims website and setting up a coordinating center to handle claims.
- Piercing the corporate veil of two separate Chinese corporations to enforce a judgment, previously obtained against the defunct local entity, which had been purposefully kept in a negative position in order to avoid debt recovery in the United States.
- Successfully defending a shipowner in a $7M AAA arbitration brought by a major chemical corporation for commercial fraud.
- Recovering $400,000 in liquidated damages under an exclusive brokerage agreement.
- Successfully defending a personal guarantor of a debt from a claim of reimbursement lodged by the original lending institution.
- Recovery of $700,000 for a shareholder in a corporate dispute regarding allocation of profits derived from commissions.
- Successful recovery and release of assets blocked by the U.S. Government's Office of Foreign Asset Control under the Trading with the Enemy Act.
- Defending three separate vessel owners in identical cases involving cargo damage resulting from spontaneous combustion of thiourea dioxide carried in containers. Claims totaling $6.4M resolved for 9% of the claimed amount.
- Successfully asserting at trial and on appeal a fire defense to cargo claims in excess of $1M resulting from the explosion of a container of calcium hypochlorite.
- Obtaining recision of $1.325M penalty levied by United States Coast Guard against vessel owner for alleged improper stowage of hazardous cargo.
- Defending vessel owner in chemical cargo fire which caused the constructive total loss of vessel and cargo, resulting in cargo claims in excess of $60M.
Maritime and Environmental Criminal Defense
- Member of defense team for shipowner in criminal pollution case involving oil spill in San Francisco Harbor, California.
- Member of defense team representing owners of cargo ship in Coos Bay grounding and oil spill in Oregon.
- Defending Master and Chief Mate in New Orleans against charges of criminal negligence in connection with the death of a longshoreman resulting from a shipboard accident during cargo unloading operations.
- Defending the owners of a vessel in Baltimore charged with environmental crimes for failure to report an unsafe condition upon arrival in port.
Occupational Disease Defense
- Obtaining summary judgment in a seaman's case where plaintiff claimed to have developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos in ship's engine room.
- Obtaining summary judgment of unseaworthiness claim in a seaman's mesothelioma case as there was no evidence that an unseaworthy condition existed at the time the vessel was bareboat chartered to a now defunct company.
- Defending a longshoreman's mesothelioma case wherein plaintiff was demanding $5M, and negotiating $45,000 settlement during jury deliberation, which represented about 1% of the total settlement.
- Obtained a dismissal in a case involving a shoreside electrician suffering from mesothelioma after establishing that Plaintiff was a shiprepairer and precluded from suing the vessel owner employer under the 1984 amendments to the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.
- Obtaining a dismissal of five seamen's claims alleging benzene-related leukemia.
- Defending workmen's compensation underwriter for shoreside marine facility faced with 35 separate hearing loss claims.
Oil Pollution and Environmental Damage
- Representing tug and barge owners involved in a three-way collision resulting in an oil spill in Tampa Bay, fouling twelve miles of Florida beaches, requiring coordination of clean-up operation, attendance at USCG/NTSB hearings, and defense of environmental damage and class action litigation, where total clean-up costs and claims exceeded $80M. Settling natural resource damage claim of $23 million for $8 million. Supervised third party claims office settling over 2,300 claims.
- Representing tug and barge owner in fire and grounding off Rhode Island, resulting in an oil spill requiring attendance at USCG/NTSB hearings, and defense of environmental damage and lobstermen's class action litigation, where total clean-up costs and claims exceed $100M. Settling natural resource damage claims of $33 million for $16 million. Supervised settlement of more than 1,500 third party claims.
- Representing shipowners in five separate coral reef grounding cases in Puerto Rico, Florida and Guam, with aggregate damage claims in excess of $20M.
- In the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, reversing a $2.3 million verdict in a longshore "dual capacity" employer case.
- Obtaining a jury verdict awarding a 75% recovery from a shipyard in favor of the employer who was held liable to its Jones Act seaman.
- Obtaining a defendant's verdict in a Jones Act case where plaintiff lost three fingers and his thumb in a partially guarded machine.
- Obtaining summary judgment in the Connecticut Federal Court in a longshore case involving a fall from a broken crane ladder and alleged herniated cervical disc.
- Limiting a jury verdict to 40% of plaintiff's lowest settlement demand in an action brought by a longshoreman who fell 110 feet, resulting in multiple fractures, internal injuries and double vision.
- Limiting recovery in a longshore case to $75,000, where the lowest pre-trial settlement demand was $300,000.
- Limiting recovery to $155,000 in Jones Act seaman case, where the lowest pre-trial settlement demand was $250,000.
- Defending employer of a harbor worker injured working on the rehabilitation of a bridge. In representing the defendant dual capacity employer, we are arguing that the plaintiff was not injured while working for defendant in its role as a vessel owner. The issue is currently on appeal before the First Department New York State Court of Appeals.
- Defending a claim by a mechanic injured aboard a high performance luxury yacht during a test run. The case involves the issue of whether plaintiff is a Jones Act seaman, as well as whether plaintiff's continued acceptance of New York State Workers' Compensation benefits waived Jones Act benefits.
Ship Purchase and Sale
- The purchase and financing of two tankers from the Marshal Islands Registry to Panamanian Registry.
- The purchase and financing of a bulk carrier from Cyprus Registry to Vanuatu Registry.
- The sale of a domestic tug under U.S. Registry.
- Representing a buyer in arbitration in a ship sale dispute involving rudder clearances.
- Successfully defending a claim for permanent total disability benefits against a longshoreman who fell 10 feet from atop a container. The claimant sought permanent total disability and continuing medical benefits but was denied both by the Administrative Law Judge after a full trial on these issues.
- Successfully defending a claim for permanent partial disability benefits and temporary total disability benefits against a longshoreperson who allegedly injured her knee in a slip and fall at the terminal. The case went to trial before an ALJ who rendered a defense verdict; the claimant then appealed that verdict to the Benefits Review Board who affirmed the trial court's decision.
- Defending a terminal in 34 separate occupational hearing loss claims filed by workers after the terminal purchased a prior existing terminal and its entire labor force.
- Preparing and filing a Petition for Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court regarding issues of Longshore Jurisdiction (status and situs) in a case involving a marine construction repair company performing work on a private residence adjacent to navigable waters.
- Representing a shipyard in a dispute with its carrier over longshore coverage under a policy of workers' compensation insurance and its endorsements.