Coast Guard Collects $4M from Bouchard Transportation after 2003 New York Barge Explosion, Deceased Represented by Matthew D. Shaffer, Maritime Lawyer

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Historic Clean Water Act penalty awarded in former Death on the High Seas Act case of Matthew Shaffer, maritime lawyer.

Matthew D. Shaffer, Maritime Lawyer

Matthew D. Shaffer, Maritime Lawyer

Texas personal injury lawyer Matthew D. Shaffer, is a partner of Houston-based Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., a maritime law firm with 45 years of experience representing victims of maritime personal injury. Mr. Shaffer represented the family of Ford Ebanks in recovering $3.75M against Bouchard Transportation Co. after his death in a New York barge explosion in 2003. The case was Docket No. CV-03-894 in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York.

Just today, the Coast Guard released information to the media regarding its collection of $4M from the owner and operator of the barge that exploded in 2003, killing Mr. Ebanks. The recovery is part of a civil penalty under the Clean Water Act. The penalty is the largest in history under the federal law.

Mr. Shaffer represented the family of Ford Ebanks, including his parents, wife and two minor children in their Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) case against Bouchard Transportation Co. Mr. Ebanks was only 24 years old, working as a first mate on a gasoline barge, when he was killed in the barge explosion. Mrs. Ebanks tragically gave birth to her second child the day after Ford’s death. The recovery obtained by Mr. Shaffer for the family included an annuity that will pay the children $6M over their lives.

Mr. Shaffer has always been a strong advocate for maritime personal injury victims and the families of those who are killed while working in service of a vessel. He has represented offshore injury plaintiffs for almost his entire legal career. He is often asked to speak and testify as a maritime law expert by both the local and national media and in court cases. He has been chosen as a Texas Super Lawyer an honor shared by only 5% those practicing law in Texas.

Founded in 1964, Shaffer’s firm has represented thousands of seamen, longshoremen, and other maritime workers, and has received outstanding recoveries for clients.

If you have questions about current maritime litigation, or are concerned about not yet retaining an attorney for a legal issue related to your work offshore, please email info(at)smslegal(dot)com for assistance.

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris is a firm of aggressive trial lawyers founded by Ambassador Arthur Schechter in 1964. The internationally-known maritime law firm has over 45 years of experience representing injured seamen, providing services in English and Spanish (Espanol). The team of Jones Act attorneys and maritime lawyers has over 100 years of combined trial experience. Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris also handles auto accidents, construction injuries and refinery explosion cases throughout Texas. SMSH can also be found online on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.


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