Maritime Attorney Matthew Shaffer Obtains One of Largest Settlements Paid By U.S. to Jones Act Seaman

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Houston-based maritime law firm Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris recently won $2 million in what is believed to be one of the largest Jones Act settlements ever paid by the U.S. government to a seaman.


Matthew Shaffer, of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, won a $2 million settlement for a Jones Act seaman in a case against the U.S. government.

Our client is permanently disabled as a result of this accident and has been left with long-term medical issues.

Maritime attorneys of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris recently obtained what is believed to be one of the largest settlements paid by the United States to a Jones Act seaman.

According to court documents, their client, a 58-year-old seaman was working aboard the S.S. Cape Jacob, a military supply ship owned by the United States and operated by private contractor Matson Navigation, Inc. The vessel was docking in the port of Jangu, South Korea, on Aug. 2, 2010, when the man alleged that he was ordered to secure mooring lines to the dock.

Court documents show the injured seaman alleged that the captain of the S.S. Cape Jacob ordered the tug towing the ship into dock to pull away before the mooring lines were completely secured, resulting in one of the lines snapping. The line snapped back and struck the seaman, allegedly causing a brain injury and compound fractures.

Other medical issues allegedly stemming from the incident included post-traumatic cognitive defects, incapacitating vertigo, chronic knee, leg, ankle and foot pain, a permanent limp, and chronic headaches, according to court documents.

Maritime attorney Matthew Shaffer, of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, represented the injured worker in filing a lawsuit against the federal government, claiming negligence under the Jones Act.

“Our client is permanently disabled as a result of this accident and has been left with long-term medical issues,” Shaffer said.

The Jones Act claim filed on behalf of the injured seaman sought damages for past and future pain and suffering, physical impairment, medical expenses and lost income, claiming that the United States government was liable for the injuries under the Clarification Act of 2011.

The case was settled prior to trial for $2 million. The injured worker received $1,277,215.64 plus $84,226 for future medical.

The large settlement in this maritime claim is the latest in a history of successes that the Jones Act lawyers of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris has achieved on behalf of clients across the U.S. The firm’s maritime attorneys handle a wide range of cases, including Jones Act claims, offshore injuries, commercial diving accidents, and cruise ship injuries. They have helped thousands of seamen and offshore workers and recovered significant amounts for their clients.

As a personal injury law firm, Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris also helps victims of many other injury accidents, including those arising from refinery or chemical plant accidents, construction site accidents, car or truck accidents, commercial vehicle accidents, bicycle and pedestrian accidents and more.

The Houston-based law firm has more than 45 years of experience in representing clients worldwide and boasts a combined 100 years of trial experience. They also provide legal assistance in English and Spanish (Español).

Injured workers or accident victims are encouraged to contact a maritime attorney or personal injury lawyer at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris today to schedule a free consultation and go over any potential case. Call 800-282-2122 today to learn more and get help winning your claim.

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Rori Feldman
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