Houston Personal Injury Lawyer Says Supreme Court Case Illustrates Complexity of Maritime Law

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Jason Itkin of Arnold & Itkin LLP says workers’ compensation claim that split lower courts shows need for expertise when navigating offshore injury compensation laws.

Houston maritime attorney, Texas maritime injury lawyer, offshore worker accidents, oil rig worker injury, Jones Act, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

Houston maritime lawyer Jason Itkin

It is vitally important that anyone who is injured, or who has had a loved one hurt or killed in connection to a maritime job, seek legal help.

Houston maritime attorney Jason Itkin today said that a workers’ compensation claim headed to the U.S. Supreme Court illustrates the complexity of maritime laws and the need for offshore workers to immediately seek legal help if they are injured.

The Supreme Court said February 22 it would review a claim seeking benefits under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act even though the claimant’s husband was killed while working onshore. The Ninth Circuit Court reinstated the widow’s claim in May 2010 after lower courts issued conflicting opinions.

“It is vitally important that anyone who is injured, or who has had a loved one hurt or killed in connection to a maritime job, seek legal help,” said Itkin, a founding partner of Arnold & Itkin LLP, a personal injury law firm concentrating in maritime law.

“Workers in specialized maritime fields and offshore jobs cannot be expected to know the ins and outs of federal and state laws that are meant to help them. They should seek out maritime accident attorneys who do know these laws and who will protect their rights.”

In the current case, Valladolid v. Pacific Operations Offshore, LLP, No. 08-73862 (9th Cir. May 13, 2010), Luisa Valladolid's late husband, Juan, was a roustabout employed by Pacific Operations Offshore who worked on an oil rig 98 percent of the time. Once every two years, he was dispatched to help at an onshore facility, where he was killed in a forklift accident.

The Ninth Circuit held that the workers’ compensation provision of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act applies to any injury resulting from operations on the outer continental shelf, regardless of the location of the injury.

“The law is often complex and open to interpretation, and specific areas of the law, like maritime law, can be incredibly arcane,” said Itkin, whose firm has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for Gulf Coast workers injured in maritime accidents, both offshore and onshore. “No one with injuries from a maritime accident should have to go it alone in seeking benefits under the Jones Act and other federal laws.”

Itkin and partner Kurt Arnold concentrate in maritime law injuries and accidents and are familiar with the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Jones Act, and the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act. They have shared their insights with national and local media, including National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” the Houston Chronicle and Houston’s ABC television affiliate, among others.

“If you or a loved one has been injured in an oil rig or other maritime accident, you must fight for your rights,” Itkin said. “We at Arnold & Itkin will stand up for you to help you you get the compensation you deserve.”

About Arnold & Itkin LLP

The maritime injury lawyers at Arnold & Itkin LLP, a personal injury law firm based in Houston, Texas, understand the complexities and legalities of maritime law and have a successful track record of verdicts and settlements in favor of maritime workers. The law firm provides legal guidance on all aspects of maritime law and the benefits offshore workers are entitled to under the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, the principle of maintenance and cure, or the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. Arnold & Itkin LLP handles maritime claims at port cities along the Gulf Coast in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The firm can be contacted toll free at (866) 222-2606 or through its website.

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