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November 2013

PROPER PAPERWORK WHEN NOT FIT FOR DUTY

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When a mariner is seeking maintenance and cure after he or she has suffered an illness or injury in the service of a vessel, it is important to obtain the proper paperwork from health care providers to insure timely receipt of maintenance payments. Generally, doctors and hospitals are familiar with what is required by the shipowner or employer to pay maintenance, but confusion can occur when dealing with doctors who do not regularly treat mariners. Make sure with each visit to the doctor that you obtain a document that states whether you are Fit For Duty or Not Fit For Duty. Additionally, if you are declared Not Fit For Duty, the document must state the date of your return visit to the doctor. If there are limitations in your ability to work, those should also be stated, especially, if there is some question as to whether or not you are Fit For Duty. Always get copies of your duty status slips for your own records as well as one to send to the party responsible for paying your maintenance.

QUESTION FROM THE BRIDGE

I received a duty status slip from my doctor's office only signed by the Nurse Practitioner (PA) and my employer will not pay my maintenance. Is this sufficient or not.
Eddie, Portland, OR

Answer:
Eddie,
This is an excellent issue to address. If the Nurse Practitioner has signed the document on your doctor's letterhead, it should suffice. However, advise your doctor that some companies are very particular about obtaining certain signatures with each visit to insure you have the proper paperwork to continue your maintenance and cure payments.

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For more than four decades, merchant mariners, longshoremen, fishermen and harbor workers plying their trades at sea, on the docks, on our U.S. coastal waters and inland waterways have turned to the maritime law firm of Lyle C. Cavin, Jr. & Associates in Oakland. Today, we are proud to be recognized as one of the preeminent maritime law firms serving injured marine workers nationwide, as well as one of the most successful personal injury litigation firms serving victims of negligence in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the West Coast.

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Recent Verdicts & Settlements
  • Maritime Personal Injury - Livestock tender back injury
    Result - Settled for $250,000.
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury - Back/Hip Injury.
    Result – Settled for $2,000,000.
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury - Knee injury.
    Result – Settled for $2,000,000.
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Respiratory injury.
    Result – Settled for $825,000.
  • Wrongful Death - Bicycle accident.
    Pedestrian hit and killed by speeding bicyclist.
    Result - Settled for $2,105,000.
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury - Seaman fell from ladder on tug boat.
    Result - Judge awarded plaintiff $832,236
  • Personal Injury - Sexual assault of a developmentally disabled minor by school bus driver.
    Result – Settled for $645,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Catastrophic container ship accident.
    Result – Settled for $4,250,000
  • Fishing boat accident – Fisherman suffered traumatic head injury after being hit by a metal float.
    Result – Settled for $5,000,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Fall from ladder aboard ship.
    Result – Settled for $1,400,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Crewmember committed suicide.
    Result – Settled for $820,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Seaman injured while moving between tug boats.
    Result – Settled for $800,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Catastrophic container ship accident.
    Result – Settled for $3,500,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Repetitive stress injury.
    Result – Settled for $1,525,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury.
    Result – Settled for $1,075,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Slip and fall on the deck of a tanker.
    Result – Settled for $2,300,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Seaman fell from top of crane cab.
    Result – Jury awarded $3,170,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Catastrophic container ship accident.
    Result – Settled for $1,925,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Benzene exposure.
    Result – Settled for $670,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Catastrophic container ship accident.
    Result – Settled for $1,500,000
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Companies We've Successfully Litigated Against
  • Alaska Steamship Co.
  • American Export Lines
  • American Hawaii Cruises
  • American Hawaiian Steamship Co.
  • American Mail Lines
  • American Navigation
  • American President Lines
  • American Seafoods Co.,
  • American Ship Management, LLC
  • American Steamship Co.
  • AMNAV
  • Apex Maine Corp.
  • Atlantic Richfield Co.
  • Atlas Steam
  • BAE Systems
  • Bangor Trading Company
  • Bann Ocean Towing
  • Blue & Gold Fleet
  • Boston Ocean Carriers
  • Brinkerhoff Marine
  • Brown & Root
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Celebrity Cruises, Inc.,
  • Central Gulf Lines
  • Chevron Oil Co.
  • Chevron Shipping, Chevron U.S.A.,
  • China Ocean Shipping Co. Dba COSCO
  • Commodore Cruises
  • CONOCO Phillips
  • Cove Companies Cove Shipping, Inc.
  • Crest Tankers, Inc.
  • Crowley Maritime Corporation
  • CS Marine
  • Cunard Steamship Co., Ltd.
  • Diamond M, Diamond M. Offshore, Inc.
  • Dutra Construction Co
  • Esso Shipping Co.
  • Evergreen
  • EXXON Shipping Co.
  • Farrell Lines, Inc
  • Faust
  • Fishing Company Of Alaska
  • Foss Maritime Co.
  • Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District
  • Golden Gate Ferry
  • Grace Lines
  • Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co ILL
  • Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. CA
  • Harbor Bay Ferry
  • Harbor Marine
  • Harbor Tug & Barge
  • Hellenic Lines
  • Holland America Line Holland America N.V,
  • Horizon Lines
  • Horizon Tug & Barge
  • Interocean Management
  • International Marine Carriers NY
  • Isthmian Lines, Isthmian S.S. Co.
  • Keystone Shipping Co.
  • Kloster Cruise Ltd
  • Liberty Maritime
  • Luckenbach S. S. Co.
  • Luckenbach Overseas Corp., 400 U.S. 494, 1971 AMC 277 (1971).
  • Lykes Bros. Steamship Co Lykes Bros. S.S. Co.
  • Maersk Lines
  • MARAD
  • Marine Transport Lines
  • Maritime Overseas Corporation R. G. Naggiar MOC,
  • Matson Navigation Co.
  • Moore-Mccormack Lines, Inc.,
  • Murphy Pacific Tug
  • Nicholas Bachko Co. Inc.
  • Norquest Seafoods
  • North American Trailing Co
  • Norwegian American Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line NCL
  • Ocean Shipholdings, Inc
  • Ocean Ships, Inc.
  • Omi Bulk Management Co.
  • Oscar Neimath Towing
  • Pacific Far East Lines Inc.
  • Pacific Gulf Marine
  • Pacific Long Lines
  • Patriot Contract Services
  • PM&O Lines
  • Polar Tankers
  • Royal Cruise Line
  • Princess Cruises, Inc., Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd.
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  • Prudential Lines
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  • Red & White
  • Red & White Fleet
  • Reynolds Metals Marine Division
  • SF Bar Pilots Ass'n
  • Sargent Marine
  • Sause Bros
  • Sea-Land Service, Inc.
  • Seariver Maritime, Inc.
  • Signature Seafoods, Inc.
  • Standard Oil Of California
  • Star Cruises
  • Star Shipping (USWC), Inc.
  • States Line
  • States Marine Corp.
  • Texaco, Inc.,
  • TOSCO
  • Tidewater, Inc.,
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  • Transport Mutual Services, Inc.
  • Trinidad Corporation
  • Triple Star, Inc
  • Tudor -Saliba
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • U.S. Dept. Of Justice, Torts Branch
  • United States Lines U.S. Lines, Inc.
  • Union Oil Co.
  • Victory Carriers
  • Vulcan Carriers
  • Waterman Steamship Corp.
  • Watters Marine Inc.
  • Westar Marine Services
  • World Explorer Cruises
  • Zim Container Line