Common—and Often Preventable—Maritime Accidents
From dredge and barge accidents to falls overboard, injuries on oil platforms, and other offshore accidents, maritime workers' lives are often at risk. In this dangerous line of work, seamen and dock workers also face the possibility of amputation or burn injuries, or other catastrophic harm that changes their lives. With the dangerous equipment involved, often far away from shore, it is paramount that maritime corporations provide workers with the training, well-maintained machinery, and safety protocols that can keep them safe.
Our maritime attorneys are ready to fight for those who have been harmed by:
This is hardly an exhaustive list of the type of maritime accident cases we take on. Whenever a maritime worker suffers serious injuries or a family loses a loved on in this line of work, we can help demand answers and pursue the financial compensation that they are owed.
Some of the Maritime Companies on Our Radar
At our maritime accidents law firm, we make it a priority to keep our eyes on corporations around the nation that perform dangerous operations, since any corners they cut will put their workers in jeopardy. Whenever there's an unsafe workplace or practices that create hazards for workers, we are ready to demand justice for the workers, and their families, who have been harmed. If you would like to gain some insight into some of the players in the maritime industry and some of their (lack of) safety track records, we've compiled some information for you here.
Arnold & Itkin advocates for workers who have been wronged by maritime companies, including and not limited to, the following:
Located in Galveston, Texas, Callan Marine has operated throughout the Gulf Coast since 2009. This maritime company provides dredging services and marine construction for both the public and private sectors. A smaller business comprised of fewer than 150 employees, Callan Marine operates boats, dredges, barges, crane barges, pile-driving rigs, and earth-moving equipment. This family-owned company provides dredging for waterways and navigation channels, ship docks, and beach reclamation, and they also construct piers, wharfs, cofferdams, levees, and more. The environmental projects it works on include shoreline protection, wetlands conservation, and debris removal.
Cashman Dredging & Marine Contracting Co., LLC
Cashman Dredging & Marine Contracting is a Massachusetts-based company that offers navigation dredging, marine drilling and blasting, environmental dredging, and beach renourishment services. Since 2006, Cashman has worked on ports, navigational waterways, and oil and gas infrastructure in the Atlantic and Caribbean.
Some of the other maritime and energy companies that it controls include:
- Cashman Preload International
Storage for natural gas and water, also provides structural engineering services
- IPC Lydon
Contractor that provides heavy rigging services, turbine services, pipe fabrication installation, and more
- Patriot Renewables, LLC
Renewable energy developer and operator
- Sterling Equipment
Supplies barges, cranes, excavators, and more
When one maritime company fails to operate safely, another maritime company may be called into try bailing them out. This happened when Cashman Dredging & Marine Construction was called in to salvage the Ever Forward, a ship that was grounded while the pilot was distracted by their cell phone.
In 2008, a mobile gas generator led to a carbon dioxide poisoning fatality for a Cashman employee. This employee had been working on one of the company's dump scow barges while on a shoreline development project.
Coastal Marine Contractors LLC
Coastal Marine Contractors is a marine construction and transportation company that is based in Slidell, Louisiana. Established in 1982, this company takes on projects for private and government clients, providing towing services, dredging, pile driving, and maintenance and repairs for oil and gas infrastructure. Its fleet includes tow boats, crew boats, model bow boats, and crane, deck, and spud barges. Of the maritime companies listed here, Coastal Marine Contractors does work for Weeks Marine.
With a history that spans nearly a hundred years, Cottrell Contracting is known for general contracting and infrastructure dredging along the Atlantic. Since 1928, Cottrell Contracting has completed projects ranging from maintenance and navigation dredging to habitat creation, beach nourishment, and other environmental projects. This corporation has fewer than 200 employees and is based in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Crosby Tugs, LLC
Established in 1977, Crosby Tugs escorts oil tankers, tows vessels, puts out onboard fires, helps with fuel spills, and guides ships out of their berths. This marine towing company has 130 tow boats and 850 employees. Based in Galliano Louisiana, this tugboat operator has several divisions that handle more than towing services.
These service divisions include:
- Crosby Dredging
- Crosby Marine
- Crosby Construction
- SEA.O.G. Offshore: handles heavy transport, engineering, and marine support
- Float Freight: marine transport/barge transportation
- Bertucci Contracting Company, LLC: coastal restoration and flood control
- TALA Marine: storage barges, vessel management, and marine support
DSC Dredge LLC
DSC Dredge is a dredging equipment manufacturer with headquarters in Reserve, Louisiana, and manufacturing operations in Poplarville, Mississippi. This family-owned company employs fewer than 200 people and offers technology and equipment for construction and navigation (dredges for ports, harbors, waterways, and artificial islands, etc.); mining and aggregates (dredges for extreme depths); environmental projects (sediment treatment and clearing, restoration); and custom-built equipment for a customer's unique job or project. It also provides automated solutions for dredge control systems.
The Dutra Group
For several decades, the Dutra Group has provided dredging, construction, and materials services to public and private customers. This marine construction company has headquarters in San Rafael, California, and operates in the West, Gulf, and East Coast regions. Dutra Dredging handles restoration and storm recovery projects, beach nourishment, and wetland marsh creation. Its marine construction division does infrastructure demolition and builds piers, wharfs, bridges, seawalls, levees, and other waterfront structures. Dutra Materials oversees an active mine and ships the quarried rocks, concrete, and other materials to different construction sites, meaning this corporation handles risk-filled maritime work as well as hazardous mining and construction operations. Dutra employs around 200 employees.
Dutra Group on the Docket
In 2019, the U.S. Supreme court heard a case that involved an injured seaman suing Dutra Group for punitive damages due the unseaworthiness of the vessel he was working on. The plaintiff's hand had been crushed by a hatch cover blowing open, which the lawsuit claimed was due to the hatch cover missing an exhaust mechanism, which if present, would have prevented the accident altogether. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled against punitive damages being awarded for unseaworthiness.
Encore Dredging Partners
EDP is a marine construction and dredging company in League City, Texas that serves the Gulf Coast, Mississippi River, Ohio River, and Great Lakes. This corporation employees a few hundred employees.
Some of its operations include:
- Maintenance dredging, for channels, docks, running basins, and more
- New dredging to create new waterways or add to current ones
- Deepening projects for deeper and wider waterways
- Coastal restoration, such as marsh creation, island restoration, and more
- Hydrographic surveys
- Marine infrastructure, such as platforms, subsea structures, and more
Encore Dredging Partners acquired Inland Dredging (dredging systems for the Gulf Coast and rivers in the Central U.S.) as well as the assets of RLB Contracting's dredging operations.
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company is known as "the nation's largest dredging company". This dredging contractor was founded in Chicago back in the 1800s, but its headquarters are now in Houston, Texas, with several other offices located around the nation. It has also worked on international projects. This corporation deepens ports, restores beaches and reservoirs, does maintenance work for channels, creates barrier islands, and more. It operates hopper, mechanical, and hydraulic dredges, and owns a fleet of hundreds of additional vessels.
GLDD & a Gulf Coast Oil Spill
In 2021, Great Lakes was fined $1 million for a 2016 oil spill in the Gulf Coast, and had to pay another $2 million in restitution for victims. While working on a restoration project to clean up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Great Lakes caused 5,300 gallons of crude oil to be released. The corporation pled guilty to violating the Clean Water Act and Pipeline Safety Act. It was also negligent in abiding by Louisiana's one-call rule.
Apparently, Great Lakes didn't even have authorization to operate in that canal and had neglected to inform pipeline companies about where they were operating. Since they failed to identify the pipelines that they were working close to and didn't get clearance from pipelines companies, an excavating marsh buggy was digging too close to a pipeline. This went directly against the approved operation guidelines from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The excavator pierced the pipeline, requiring at least 28 vessels to contain the resulting oil spill.
Inland Dredging Company, LLC
Founded in 1997, Inland Dredging is in the transportation and logistics industry. It provides cutter suction dredging and marine infrastructure services as well as dock, navigational, and cargo handling (everything from building materials and construction cargo to machinery, pipes, and more). Located in Dyersburg, Tennessee, Inland Dredging was acquired by Encore Dredging Partners.
Orion Marine Group
Orion Marine Group is a civil and marine construction company established in 1994 and with headquarters in Houston, Texas. It offers dredging services and marine services such as diving, demolition, salvage, and surveying. It also does construction for port facilities, cruise terminals, naval facilities, pipelines, environmental structures, transportation infrastructure, and more.
A Major Marine Casualty
On August 21 of 2020, five people were killed after a dredging vessel, the Waymon L. Boyd, had an explosion that led to a fire. This vessel was owned by the Orion Marine Group. The explosion occurred when the vessel was dredging in Corpus Christi. A rotating cutterhead hit the pipeline, sending propane gas and water shooting up right next to the dredging vessel. Once the propane gas reached the dredge, there was an explosion that ignited a fire. That explosion and fire killed three Waymon L. Boyd crewmembers directly as well as another worker on a nearby anchor barge. Another Waymon L. Boyd crew member would later succumb to his burn injuries a little over three months after the explosion.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) blamed Orion Marine Group for its failure to plan and prepare for identifying pipelines and for its failure to provide proper training and procedures to its employees. The NTSB also faulted an Orion Marine Group subsidiary, Schneider Engineering and Consulting, for not providing thorough information about pipeline locations to Orion Marine Group.
The NTSB mandated that Orion Marine Group run formal risk assessments before any further dredging operations, create a hazard control plan, and standardize the process for working near pipelines. This included providing adequate training to avoid pipelines, marking and verify pipelines, and using navigation software to access pipeline information. The NTSB also tasked Schneider Engineering and Consulting with ensuring that their data on hazards was clear and that they clearly outline tolerance distances from underwater pipelines.
These all sound like common sense procedures that the companies should have been implementing to begin with, and not just after five people lost their lives due to corporate negligence.
Magnolia Dredge & Dock, LLC
Magnolia Dredge & Dock works on federal, state, and local government projects as well as for private customers. As a small company in Mandeville, Louisiana, it provides marine construction, dredging, and civil construction services. Magnolia Dredge and Dock has a fleet of hydraulic dredges and heavy equipment for beach renourishment, land reclamation, shoreline protection, levee construction, dewatering operations, marina creation, and much more. This maritime company also offers dredging for other environmental projects, maintenance, industrial plants and mills, and oil fields.
Manson Construction was founded in 1905 in Seattle, where headquarters is still located. An employee-owned company, there are hundreds of employees that engage in marine construction and dredging. The company builds wharves, bridges, ferry landings, flood protection, and more, and provides dredging for channel cutting, beach nourishing, etc. They also perform work for oil and energy companies that operate offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, installing platforms, moving rigs, salvaging platforms, and so forth. They also operate derrick barges for dockside and offshore lift services.
In 2020, a tractor that was being operated by a dredging crew accidentally ran over a woman who was sleeping on the beach in Oceanside, California.
Mike Hooks, LLC
Since 1945, Mike Hooks has operated as a dredging marine construction contractor for private and public projects. Located in Westlake, Louisiana, the company employs more than 230 employees and works throughout the Gulf Coast. The company's projects include beach reclamation, maintenance dredging, wetland restoration, harbor excavation, and new construction.
Plaisance Dragline & Dredging
Plaisance Dragline & Dredging has been registered with the state of Louisiana since 1961 and is located in Golden Meadow, Louisiana. It is a dredging company that offers oil field services and more and is working on active projects worth millions of dollars.
Its legal issues started in 2001, in a case that carried on to 2003. Plaisance was working on a reclamation project on a lease that required Plaisance to recap 32,150 feet of a perimeter levee, but it had only recapped around 6,400 feet. This caused the leasing company to start the eviction process. Even though the courts pushed back on an immediate evacuation and gave Plaisance time to fix the breach of lease, the perimeter levee capping wasn't thoroughly completed, and the eviction was eventually upheld. In 2004, it had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to continue operations.
Southern Dredging & Marine, Inc.
This St. Simons, Georgia company offers services for marine construction, shoreline and harbor breakwaters, island development, silt and turbidity control, and geotextile tubes for solids recovery, dewatering, and removing sludge. It also provides hydraulic and mechanical dredging services for harbors, channels, and marinas. Southern Dredging & Marine operates in Louisiana, Georgia, and the Caribbean.
Weeks Marine is based in Cranford, New Jersey and has been in business since 1919. It provides construction, dredging, and marine services such as stevedoring, transportation, towing, heavy lifting and salvage, and more. It also provides tunneling services and supplies aggregates for construction, infrastructure, and transportation.
Its subsidiary companies include:
- McNally International Inc.
- Healy Tibbitts Builders, Inc.
- American Atlantic Company
Weeks Marine itself is a recently acquired subsidiary of Kiewit Corporation.
U.S. Aqua Services
U.S. Aqua Services provides dredging services, rentals, and equipment from New Iberia, Louisiana. This includes amphibious equipment and services such as coastal restoration, maintenance dredging, emergency dredging, mash buggy services, and bulk material mining. Its mining operations produce sand and gravel.
Our Maritime Company Attorneys Represent Clients Across the Nation
If you're dealing with the repercussions of a maritime accident, you can find the legal answers and advocacy you need at Arnold & Itkin. We have recovered more than $15 billion on behalf of our clients, setting records by never backing down as we fight for our clients to get the full compensation that they are owed. We are ready to investigate the details of your accident, uncover the truth, and hold negligent maritime companies accountable. Find out how our team can help you seek justice.
Call (888) 493-1629 to reach our maritime accident attorneys. We're here to listen to your story and provide the legal help you deserve.