Author: Edward Festeryga

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Chemical Explosion at LyondellBasell Facility Kills 2 and Injures Dozens in La Porte, Texas

The LyondellBasell chemical processing plant, located at 1515 Miller Cut-Off Road, La Porte, Texas experienced a loss of containment event that killed 2 and injured dozens more. The explosion happened at 7:35 pm in the acetals area of the La Porte Complex when a unit experienced a loss of containment resulting in a leak of…

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Abraham Watkins Scores Victory Under New 5th Circuit Maritime Precedent

In Sanchez v. Smart Fabricators, a unanimous, en banc decision of the 5th Circuit upended existing precedent in greatly narrowing the critical threshold issue of who qualifies as a seaman under the Jones Act.  As one of the leading personal injury firms in the nation, and the longest operating in Texas, Abraham Watkins attorneys Benny…

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Zone of Danger: 5th Circuit Leaves Open the Door for Purely Emotional Injury

The availability of emotional injury claims in maritime law is unsettled. As it stands, recovery of purely emotional injuries requires proof of an attendant physical injury—or at least emotional injuries that present with concurrent physical symptoms. But a recent decision from the 5th Circuit potentially expands the scope of cognizable emotional injury claims. In In…

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Maintenance and Cure: They Cut You Off?    

No, a vessel owner or employer cannot unilaterally terminate maintenance and cure benefits without serious justification. Maintenance and cure requires that vessel owners and employers provide sick and injured seaman their basic living expenses and reasonable and necessary medical expenses until the point that they reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). But that raises a question:…

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Maintenance & Cure: Three Tiers of Potential Damages

The payment of maintenance and cure benefits for injured seaman are supposed to be “virtually automatic.” These claims are protections afforded to mariners in recognition of the perils of seafaring life. Maintenance benefits provide for a seaman’s basic living expenses; cure for their reasonable and necessary medical treatment; and both are intended to provide basic…

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Maintenance, Cure and Unearned Wages: The Ancient Protections for Seamen

Since at least 1823, our courts have recognized that the perils of seafaring life necessitate unique protections for mariners. Consequently, under general maritime law and the Jones Act, any injured seaman is entitled to maintenance, cure, and unearned wages for injuries incurred in the course of their service to their ship. These payments are “virtually…

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