Fisher Maritime Consulting Group

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Casualties

Fisher Maritime is regularly called upon to analyze the causes of marine casualties and personal injuries involving vessels, terminals, and shipyards, and then act as expert witnesses in litigation throughout the US and Canada (including collisions, allisions, explosions, and sinkings). This is in addition to our primary mission involving shipbuilding and repair contract development, management, claims and litigation support work.

In additional to general maritime casualties, our personnel also analyze casualties involving a wide variety of recreational and small craft. As a result of our experience, the fundamental causes of nearly every conceivable type of boating casualty have been analyzed by our staff, including manufacturing defects, design defects, operator error, supplier error, maintenance/repair error and failure to warn, among others.

We also analyze casualties involving a wide variety of tugboats, barges, and other towed equipment. Many of the common causes of casualties involving this equipment also include manufacturing defects, design defects, operator errors, supplier errors, maintenance/repair errors, and failure to warn.

We have analyzed numerous maritime casualties in the past years, providing technical advice and expert witness services that are often conveyed through our personnel's reports and deposition testimony. Commonly, these matters are settled or resolved before going to trial due in part to the compelling information conveyed through our reports and testimony.

GENERAL MARITIME EXAMPLES

We have analyzed a number of incidents including collisions, fires, falls, and injuries. Examples of specific cases in which we have have been involved include the following:

  • Dispute over marine insurance claim resulting from fire during construction
  • Injured crew member aboard a ferry
  • Valuation of a partially completed megayacht
  • Evaluating causes of massive coating rework on product tanker
  • Inappropriate specifications, not defective product, lead to coating failure
  • Hatch cover failure or other source of failure leads to major casualty

BOATING EXAMPLES

We have analyzed a number of recreational boating incident types, including collisions, fires, falls, and injuries. Examples of specific cases in which we have have been involved include the following:

  • Fall overboard from bow-rider boat
  • Collision between 60' yacht and 21' motorboat with three lives lost
  • Fall overboard from non-fixed seat on bass boat
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning aboard recreational boat with two lives lost
  • Fall overboard from engine-top cushions
  • Collision between 33' powerboat and windsurfer
  • Fall overboard from side of cabin cruiser
  • Body cavity injury from waterjet of PWC
  • Collision between personal watercraft and powerboat
  • Sinking of clam-dredge vessel with all hands lost
  • Personal injury from vertical accelerations at bow
  • Propeller injuries from waterski boat
  • Lower extremity injury when falling from PWC
  • Waterskier collision with anchored boat

TUG-BARGE EXAMPLES

We have analyzed many tug-barge related incidents that also include collisions, fires, falls, and injuries. Examples of specific cases that we have have been involved include the following:

  • Tugboat operations while handling sanitation scows.
  • Damages to a dock facility caused by the passing of a ship at a high rate of speed.
  • Deckhand line handling injury aboard a tugboat assisting in the docking of a large petroleum barge.
  • Slip and fall by an able seaman while on a crossover ladder aboard a large petroleum barge.
  • Injury sustained during wire cable handling operations while rigging a tugboat to a large petroleum barge.
  • Slip and fall by an able seaman from a recessed hull ladder in the side of a large barge.
  • Injury sustained during towline rigging operations in transitioning a tugboat from the towing along side to towing astern.
  • Injury sustained during the use of an anchor windlass gypsy head to heave in bow mooring lines aboard a large petroleum barge.
  • Collision between a pleasure craft and a tugboat pushing a large petroleum barge.
  • Deckhand injury during wire cable rigging operations in connection with securing his vessel to a large petroleum barge.
  • Injury sustained during the loading of wire push-gear cables aboard a tugboat.
  • Governmental agency claim for raising and clean-up costs in connection with a towboat sinking in a inland river.
  • Injury sustained from communication issues with deck personnel during the shifting of a petroleum product barge from a lay berth to a loading berth.
  • Legal malpractice in connection with a case involving tugboat work associated with dredging operations.
  • Injury sustained during the rigging of cargo discharge hoses aboard a large cement barge.

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