Situated in the southeastern portion of Alaska on a lowland coastal strip, Anchorage is a prime location for the maritime industry. Unfortunately, Anchorage has also been home to numerous maritime injuries and accidents. Fortunately, there are two major hospitals nearby in which injured workers at sea can be airlifted to quickly, yet these types of incidents in Anchorage are still uncommonly high, even for the maritime business.
The Port of Anchorage, in particular, has a long history of maritime injuries and accidents. It provides around 90% of cargo to the United States and serves as one of the most important ports in the nation. In addition, it serves as a port for shipping merchandising cargo all across most of Alaska’s most populated areas, as well as goods cargo to the rural areas of the state. With so much activity in and around the port, it’s inevitable that accidents will occur. Yet, many of these accidents could have easily been avoided if employers and other parties had provided the proper safety training, measures, and procedures.
Examples of Maritime Injuries in Anchorage
The following examples are among just a few of the numerous injuries that seamen have faced while working aboard a vessel in Anchorage:
- A captain was awarded a settlement of over $1 million for comparative negligence after he slipped on a deck crane’s hydraulic fluid. According to court reports from the U.S. District Court in Anchorage, the deck crane was leaking for quite some time, yet the owner refused to repair it.
- In another case in the U.S. District Court of Anchorage, a crane operator who wasn’t familiar with a new crane pulled a cable that was trapped inside a load of beams. Yet, the crane operator failed to warn the worker responsible for unloading the beams. When the cable began to fall over, the worker jumped out of the truck bed, injuring his leg severely. A large settlement amount, although confidential, was reached.
- Another confidential settlement was awarded to an Anchorage crane worker who now lives with permanent damage after inhaling toxins as a result of the Exxon oil spill cleanup. The equipment aboard a vessel in Alaska was constructed incorrectly, and when the hoses were used to spray the shoreline, diesel exhaust went into the crane’s cab. Workers were exposed to these harmful toxins anywhere from 80 to 100 hours per week.
The aforementioned Exxon cleanup case is unfortunately only one of the cases in which a seaman was severely injured. Even though it has been over 20 years since the oil spill, people today are still living with the toxic effects. A myriad of Anchorage maritime workers spent 18 hours a day helping contain the situation. They then returned to their barges with oil traces in their blood cells and lungs. Others suffered from severe nose bleeds, respiratory problems, nervous system issues, and more.
It’s important to remember that if you or a loved one have been affected by the oil spill or any other type of maritime injury, you may be entitled to damages, including maintenance and cure, pain, suffering, and more. Employers are responsible for ensuring that their seamen are provided safe working conditions aboard a seaworthy vessel, and if those rights are not provided, seaman have the legal right to file a maritime lawsuit.