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Metairie Louisiana Maritime Law Blog

Deepwater Horizon damage worse than originally believed

Researchers are discovering that the "worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history" did far more damage than originally believed. The amounts of oil that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico after 2010's Deepwater Horizon Macondo well explosion was far more significant and left a much more damaging "toxic footprint" in its wake.

Research now indicates that an estimated 210 million gallons of oil got released into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It spread nearly to Texas and all the way to western Florida beaches, then was carried in a loop current toward Miami. Along its way, scientists have discovered remaining "invisible oil" located under the surface of the water.

How to treat and live with someone with a traumatic brain injury

The human brain is relatively vulnerable, which is one reason why we have such strong, thick skulls to help protect it. Unfortunately, many aspects of modern life put people in positions where their skulls simply can't adequately protect their brains.

Contact sports, dangerous professions and even the daily commute to work in a motor vehicle could all result in someone developing a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Although your brain stops growing at a certain age, it can still heal itself and learn new information.

Mississippi River accident claims 3 crewmen's lives

Working aboard vessels on the powerful lower Mississippi River is fraught with danger. That was brought home to three families recently who lost their loved ones after two towing vessels collided on the river near Luling.

On Sunday, Jan. 26, two towing vessels, the RC Crepple and the Cooperative Spirit made impact on the river, causing the RC Crepple to capsize and sink. Four crewman were tossed into the water upon the impact. One was picked up by a local boater, but the other three remain missing and presumed dead.

Do you have what it takes to work on a yacht?

Working aboard a cruise ship or a luxury yacht sounds like many people's idea of a dream job. If you ever caught an episode of Bravo's Below Deck, you may have wondered just what you need to do to land such a job.

Those working as deckhands on these vessels have to have a variety of skills. Not only must they be able to swim, on many yachts, but they also have to be certified as scuba divers in order to take the passengers on diving excursions.

Offshore fishermen face special hazards

The offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico can be a very dangerous place if you are a commercial fisherman. For instance, over the span of 15 years from 2000 to 2014, 164 workers died from traumatic injuries while working in fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Of those statistics, from 2000 to 2009, there were 115 deaths, with the other 49 falling in the half-decade from 2010 to 2014. In the prior decade, the primary cause of death was from falling overboard.

Could your doctor be killing you?

Back in 2016, researchers at the esteemed medical center Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore conducted a study with shocking results. They discovered that each year in America, 250,000 people lose their lives due to medical errors.

To put that into perspective, using the rankings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical errors would come in third place of the top causes of death. It's topped only by heart disease and cancer.

Study reveals interesting concepts about our brains and sound

An interesting story was recently published in The New York Times. It detailed how young athletes who are at the top of their games have special abilities to tune out background noises and focus instead on more important sounds.

These athletes have brains that do not get as noisy as most other people's do, researchers learned. They studied the ways that elite competitors process sounds. The hypothesis is that competing in sports might alter athletes' brains and have a role in the way they sense and process events swirling around them.

Maritime workers not covered by workers' comp have the Jones Act

Working on the open water is highly dangerous, regardless of what exact career you have. Whether you work on a barge or have a career as a longshoreman, your place of employment is risky, and the tasks you perform for your job drastically increase the potential for a serious injury.

Given that you likely work for a company or at least a vessel based in the United States, you might assume you have protection under domestic workers' compensation laws for any potential injury or illness you develop related to your work.

Workers on the ocean may get exposed to non-ionizing radiation

When people discuss or explore the various risks associated with maritime careers, the focus is usually on the risks posed by the ocean, storms at sea or similar environmental risks. However, the ocean itself is only one of many unique risks that maritime workers need to remain aware of and vigilant about.

Those working on maritime vessels can also wind up exposed to dangerous environmental factors that aren't as common for workers back on shore. Vibrations from tools and the motion of the boat can cause muscular and nerve symptoms, while the close quarters of maritime living situations can lead to increased risk of infectious disease and interpersonal conflicts.

Emotional and psychological damage can lead to claims

There are two sides to the perception of the seafaring mariner. There is the swashbuckling conquistador with a girl in every port.

And then there is the guy who is struggling to hold his domestic situation together at all costs. Or perhaps the one whose transitory lifestyle has never been conducive to any long-term relationships.

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