El Faro Disaster

Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Commercial maritime companies have a responsibility to maintain safety aboard their vessels and to protect the rights of their crew members. Maritime laws, including the U.S. federal law known as the Jones Act, offer protections for seamen in the event that an injury or death is suffered as a result of negligent actions committed by either the vessel’s master or fellow crew members. The 33 seafarers working aboard the El Fargo cargo vessel, which was lost at sea after taking on water and experiencing propulsion issues during Hurricane Joaquin, were not sufficiently protected from perils at sea by their employer and were also placed in harm’s way by the ship’s captain, Michael Davidson, who kept sailing despite warnings that the storm would intensify.