Tug & Barge Accidents

We are well equipped to deal with tug and barge accidents and complex tug and barge ownership issues. Frequently the tug and barge have different owners. The question of who is the right defendant is a common one after a barge or tug accident. With a tug and barge, there can be complicated lease and charter agreements. Peter Commette and his staff at Peter M. Commette, P.A. are prepared to work through these issues. We have the knowledge and resources to pursue a claim against the liable party after an injury to a crew member.

Tugs and barges are dangerous places to work. Workers on a tug or a barge can be seriously injured by the winches, cables, and lines. The tug can trip its tow. Peter Commette and his staff at Peter M. Commette, P.A. have successfully represented clients who worked on barges and tugs whose injuries were caused by:

  • Frayed and weak lines that parted
  • Tow lines that swept the deck
  • Injuries caused by bad weather
  • Leaks on deck from engine lubricants and hydraulics
  • Collisions with a dock
  • Unspooling of winches
  • Handling heavy lines
  • Leaving the vessel to get onto a dock
  • Malfunction of winches

We have been able to recover damages for many tug and barge workers, including payment of medical bills and expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, disability, and other losses when the employer was negligent and/or the vessel unseaworthy. We have worked on these cases in various jurisdictions in and out of Florida, including a one week trial in the Southern District of New York, the court in which my father had most often practiced for over 50 years. That was a treat.

Dredging

Workers on dredging vessels are often unaware that they are usually covered by the Jones Act as well. This includes the dredge as well as the flotilla of support vessels. Even though dredging operations take place in shallow seas or inland waters and the vessels are not traditional, dredge workers are usually covered by the Jones Act. Working on a dredge is just as dangerous as other maritime occupations.

Dredge workers attempting to loosen blockages in the dredge pipelines often suffer serious hand and arm crushing injuries. We have been able to recover damages for many dredge workers, including payment of medical bills and expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, disability, and other losses when the employer was negligent and/or the vessel unseaworthy. We have also successfully represented workers injured aboard crew boats being transported to and from the dredge.