The Missouri barge traffic has economically been very tough in the 2000s. From droughts, to the U.S. Army Corps of engineers, to the economy; you name it, the Missouri maritime commerce has been affected by it. One thing that has also suffered is the money spent by maritime companies for safety. Sometimes to increase profits, the maritime Jones Act employers have scrimped on replacing equipment that was old and, instead, tried to “squeeze” every possible day out of it when they should just replace it. Using barges that have winches that should be replaced to under-manning to over working, the companies have used every tactic possible to make a buck….all the while placing you at risk of personal injury. Low water levels have resulted in overtime work to make up for a shorter season, lighter loads requiring more loads, and higher maintenance and repair and replacement associated with damages sustained from low flows. The maritime lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP receive calls all the time from persons with a maritime injury and, most of the time, it has to do with faulty equipment that was poorly maintained. This is when you need a maritime lawyer for your Missouri accident.
Just ask yourself one question: Is the insurance adjuster looking out for my interests or the interests of the insurance company?
Whether it is representing a deck hand that has injured his shoulder and neck in a faulty winch; a wife and young son of an offshore worker whose father had his skull crushed from a pipe handler on a drill ship; or whether it is representing a person who survived the freezing Alaskan fishing waters floating in the Pacific for hours before being rescued; or representing a man who had his leg traumatically amputated from getting caught in a tow wire while breaking tow; or a worker injured in a barge accident, the maritime lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP simply put: “Don’t Play”.
We all know it takes money to make money and that is, unfortunately true in the law too; and Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP spends what it takes to properly develop the case. But, there is one more ingredient you want in your Jones Act lawyer and that is: Heart. They know you have entrusted you and your family’s future in them and they put their heart and soul into their representation of you. So many seaman have entrusted their lives to Todd and Steve and rightly so. They are members of the American Association of Justice Admiralty & Maritime Law Section; and Members of the Maritime Law Association. They know the Jones Act and the maritime business and they know exactly what to do to maximize your monetary recovery.
If you live, work or hurt your back, neck, head, shoulders or knees in Missouri, you need maritime lawyers that “don’t play”. One call to Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP and you will experience and feel the difference. There is no obligation if you call and, like all other personal injury situations if there is “no recovery, then you pay no fee or expenses”. We are not in this business for our clients to receive “no recovery”; we are in it to win and to win big. This is you and your family’s livelihood at risk and we never forget that. Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP urges you to call all the Jones Act attorneys you can, just call us and experience the difference at (800) 773-6770.
If you or a loved one has been hurt on the inland rivers in MO, the first thing you should do is hire experienced Jones Act lawyers to protect your rights. It does not matter whether you are a deckhand, engineer, or captain; you need medical care and money. We know this and that is why the first thing we will do is make sure that you have the best medical treatment possible and have the money to pay your bills.
You can’t work on the river without having some interaction with the Missouri Port Authority. It has strategically placed locations on the Mississippi River and the Missouri River, MO.
The rivers see transportation of many items including fertilizer, coal, cement, sand and gravel, asphalt, grain, and oilseeds. Some companies that operate in Missouri that are Jones Act employers are: American Electric Power Co. [AEP MEMCO] based out of Ohio [bought out MEMCO Barge Lines in 2001], Missouri Barge Line Co, Inc. and SCF Marine, Inc. Finally, though not based out of Missouri, the following companies perform maritime towing, fleeting and /or barge business in Missouri: Alter Barge Line, American Commercial Barge Lines [ACBL], Canal Barge Company, Ingram Barge Company, Southern Towing Company and Marquette Transportation Company.
As Jones Act lawyers, our job is to know who the Jones Act employers are in a given area. As stated above, Southern Towing Company, though based out of Memphis, Tennessee has an extensive fleet of tow boats. Their vessels include the M/V Arne Christiansen, M/V Baxter Spothern, M/V Bill Stegbauer, M/V Bobby Jones, M/V Capt. Richard Sides, M/VCapt. Sam Yount, M/V Charles Southern, M/V Cheryl Stegbauer, M/V Frank Holloman, M/V Frank B. Tamble, M/VFrank T. Stegbauer, M/V Jo Anne Stegbauer, M/V Kevin Conway, M/V Larry Tilley, M/V Laura Elizabeth, M/V Laura Tamble, M/V Mary Elizabeth, M/V Robert Ingle and the M/V Scott Stegbauer. Any crewmember, e.g., deckhand, engineer, relief captain, captain, tankerman, who is injured while working on board these vessels, similar towboats and/or barges that are made in tow to these tugboats, are covered by the Jones Act.
SCF Marine is the operating unit of the Inland River Services division of SEACOR Holdings Inc. SCF currently has control of over 1200 barges. Their high cubic capacity dry cargo barges, super jumbo hopper barges and liquid tank barges. Inland River Services also owns six inland towboats in the 6250 hp class. SCF Marine is a full service barge line offering transportation alternatives on the Mississippi River and its tributaries including the Gulf Intracoastal WaterWays. Strategic relationships with other towing companies allow SCF to offer timely deliveries of our customer’s cargoes to their final destinations. Due to a progressive expansion program, SCF Marine operates the newest fleet of hopper barges on the inland waterways, providing reliable, quality equipment to its customers. SCF’s list of bulk products transported is extensive, servicing the agricultural, industrial and construction sectors.
If required to file in the state of Missouri, Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP will either seek local Missouri counsel to assist them to help prosecute your claim and come in by Motion Pro Hac Vice or, we may refer them the case and remain jointly responsible as required. This way, you will actually have two firms for the same contingency fee as one. Of course Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP and any associated firm will have the standard “no recovery then no fees or expenses” fee schedule.
There are many attorneys along the Missouri coast that practice maritime law. However, the facts of each case determine the “venue” options of where your claim can be filed. Just because someone is injured in the state of Missouri, does not necessarily mean that the state of Missouri is the sole venue. The factors that go into this, among others, are (1) location or “situs” of injury; (2) principle place of business of the maritime employer; (3) if there are “third parties” that may be liable, then their residence or principle place of business; (4) in some instances, the location of a previously filed Limitation of Liability claim; (5) the plaintiff’s residence; (6) the location of signing-on the vessel. Because the Jones Act and Maintenance and Cure are governed by federal law, it is not necessary to solely employ attorneys that just have an office in Missouri. What is essential, is that you a hire an experienced maritime law firm. Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP, though Texas based, are federal maritime lawyers and Jones Act lawyers licensed in Texas and Louisiana and Washington, D.C. Our law firm has handled cases from as far west as Hawaii and as far east as Florida. One phone conversation with them will give you the confidence that you have called the right firm to answer your maritime law questions.
If you have been injured, just call (800) 773-6770 or fill or the on-line form and experience for yourself exactly what we mean. This is your life, your future and your income and you should make the right decision when choosing a Jones Act attorney to represent you. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.