Sample Diving Law Cases
The following diving law cases have been recently settled by the members of Delise & Hall Law firm for commercial divers involved in various diving related accidents. Please contact us for more information or with any questions
Commercial diver injured in underwater explosion wins $4.35 million settlement
An underwater explosion during a routine dive resulted in debilitating injuries to a commercial contract diver preventing him from pursuing a livelihood this way in the future. The lawsuit filed on his behalf against his employer was settled for $4.35 million dollars in light of the negligence of his employer to properly plan the dive.
A commercial saturation diver recently settled his lawsuit for more than $4 million against his employer after an underwater explosion resulted in major injuries to the diver. Saturation divers are a highly skilled and trained class of divers who can stay underwater on deep dives for long periods of time, up to twelve hours.
The diver in question was investigating a platform that had capsized and sunk during Hurricane Katrina. In the course of that process, he lit a torch designed to burn underwater. The torch exploded when it came into contact with gases that had accumulated on the underside of the platform.
As a result of the explosion, the 31-year-old sustained considerable injuries including a burst eardrum, pneumothoraces to his lungs, injuries to his central nervous system as a result of decompression, and several other shock-related damages. Although he was earning a daily wage of $1,250 at the time of the accident, as a result of his injuries he is now completely disqualified from returning to his former line of work, commercial diving. He is now pursuing an education in construction engineering.
The diver sued his employer for negligence in planning the dive improperly and ignoring the standards that would have reduced the likelihood of an accident of this nature. Although the defendant denies this negligence, the lawsuit was settled in the diver’s favor for $4.35 million dollars.
Diving accident results in $1 million settlement after diver’s air system fails
During a routine dive, a 39-year-old diver with nearly twenty years of diving experience came very close to dying after the air system failed to function properly. A lawsuit was filed on the diver’s behalf under the Jones Act for negligence on the part of the diver’s employer. The lawsuit was settled in the defendant’s favor for just over one million dollars.
During a routine dive, a 39-year-old diver with nearly twenty years of diving experience came very close to dying after the air system failed to function properly. The experienced diver suffered physical injuries as well as emotional stress due to an equipment malfunction. South of Chauvin, Louisiana, the 39-year-old diver was approximately fifteen feet under water when the air supply system on the surface of the water malfunctioned.
The diver came very close to drowning as a result but was revived using CPR and rushed to a hospital in the New Orleans vicinity. Although he has largely recovered, lingering neurological problems and post traumatic stress disorder will keep him from returning to his work as a commercial diver.
The diver filed a lawsuit against the ship’s owner, claiming that the owner’s negligence in maintaining the air supply system renders the boat unseaworthy. General maritime law in the United States holds employers and ship owners responsible for maintaining a seaworthy vessel. Additionally, he filed a lawsuit against his employer under the ones Act for improperly maintaining the air system.
The employer and the boat’s owner refuted the suit, saying that the experienced diver should have been prepared with his back up air supply, referred to as a “bail-out-bottle” by diving aficionados. However, the suit was settled in the favor of the diver for $1.05 million dollars.
Incorrect diagnoses leads to $850,000 settlement for diver suffering from decompression illness and heart condition
An incorrect medical diagnoses lead to an $850,000 settlement for a commercial diver suffering from decompression illness and a heart condition. If the condition had been properly diagnosed the diver may have been able to prevent further injury. However, because he continued to work at the direction of the employer he developed a heart condition along with neurological complications from the decompression illness prevent him from resuming his work as a diver.
When a commercial diver felt ill after surfacing from a dive, he sought the guidance from his supervisor. The supervisor along with an EMT who was consulted about the diver’s symptoms concluded that he was suffering from a virus, either flu-related or intestinal, and recommended that the diver be transported to a hospital on land so as not to infect any of the crew on the barge.
Upon arriving at the New Orleans hospital, the diver was re-diagnosed with decompression illness, possibly complicated by a congenital heart condition. As the decompression illness had gone so long without treatment, the diver now suffers from neurological complications that, along with the heart problem, will prevent him from returning to his work as a commercial diver as he has now been labeled as medically unfit to do so.
The diver filed lawsuits against both his own employer and that of the EMT who made the incorrect diagnosis. The first lawsuit is filed under the Jones Act because of planning negligence on his employer’s part and failure to administer emergency recompression treatment as called for under the U.S. Navy’s emergency medical protocol. The lawsuit against the EMT sites negligence due to the incorrect medical evaluation by the EMT.
Although both defendants denied the allegations and placed the fault on the diver for improperly reporting his symptoms as well as on the heart condition, the lawsuit was settled in the diver’s favor for $850,000.
Contact Delise & Hall today if you are in need of legal representation
This lawsuit is one of many dive settlements that are part of the complex body of maritime law. This can be a tricky area for many to navigate, but the law firm Delise & Hall has built a practice based on years of experience and knowledge in this practice. For more information about maritime law in general, the Jones Law, or settlements in dive lawsuits and other maritime suits, you can access the firm's website at www.divelawyers.com or call them at 1-800-DIVER 55 (1-800-348-3755).