Maintenance & Cure - Know Your Rights as a Seaman!

By Ian F. Taylor

If you are a seaman who has suffered any type of personal injury while in service of a vessel, you are entitled to a unique form of compensation called maintenance and cure. Courts in the United States have enforced a seaman’s right to maintenance and cure since 1823. Maintenance and cure is not based on fault; therefore, regardless of whether your employer or a third party did anything wrong, you are entitled to these benefits.

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BEWARE: What You Post On Facebook And Other Social Media Sites May Be Discoverable In Your Lawsuit.

By Beth E. Abramson

Courts have held that information that a personal injury plaintiff posts on their Facebook page and other social media sites, even if posted privately to friends, may be discoverable in your lawsuit if the opposing party requests it. However, the production of such information from a plaintiff’s Facebook page and other social media sites would likely be limited to information, photographs, and/or videos related to the plaintiff’s accident, related to injuries suffered as a result of the accident, and related to damages and/or expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Examples of the types of social media postings that a court may order the plaintiff to produce include the following:

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BP challenges 'gross negligence' ruling in oil spill

BP has asked a federal judge to reconsider a ruling that the company acted recklessly leading up to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The British oil company faces as much as $18 billion in fines.

In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans on Thursday (Oct. 2), BP said the findings were based on evidence that was supposed to be excluded from the trial. BP has asked for the ruling to be set aside.

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Three-plus years after drowning deaths, Coast Guard report unfinished
The U.S. Coast Guard still hasn’t finished a report on a 2011 vessel collision that resulted in the drowning of three Omega Protein workers in the Mississippi Sound.

For more than two years, the Coast Guard has been reviewing four safety recommendations included with the accident report. Dawn Patterson, chief of the Coast Guard’s data division in Washington, said the report will be released only after the safety recommendations are finalized.

She said the report was sent for review in May 2012 to the Coast Guard’s Eighth District, which is headquartered in New Orleans and covers 26 states.

“It’s not releasable,” she said, “and I don’t know when it will be released.”
BP’s New Motion Seems to be Primarily a PR/Intimidation Scheme

BP’s New Motion Seems to be Primarily a PR/Intimidation Scheme.

As you may have heard, BP filed a new motion today with the District Court to ask for the return of alleged “over-payments” to Oil Spill victims that BP agreed to pay under a landmark 2012 Settlement. The motion also asks the court to enjoin lawyers, like us, with respect to any attorneys’ fees. While nothing in litigation is certain, and there are no guarantees, this motion appears to be primarily a PR effort to bully and intimidate people. While we have not had the chance to conduct a detailed legal analysis, if we are ever called upon to respond to this motion, we will note, among other things, that:

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Latest BP Oil Spill News & Press

03-21-14 Next phase of gulf oil spill trial set for 2015

03-17-14 BP asks the entire U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the prior appellate decisions that it lost.

03-04-14 BP must live with $9.2 billion oil spill deal, court says

03-03-14 In BP Oil Disaster, appeals court rules claimants need not prove direct harm

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