BNI and URS False Claims Act Allegations
|The Facts:||BNI and URS made false claims regarding deficient nuclear quality procurements at the Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) at DOE's Hanford Site near Richland, Washington.|
|Our Result:||The Lambert Firm negotiated a $125 million settlement.|
The Lambert Firm filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against Bechtel National Inc., Bechtel Corp., URS Corp. and URS Energy and Construction Inc. The claim filed under federal whistleblower laws, on behalf of 3 former employees, alleged that the defendants “made false statements and claims to the Department of Energy (DOE) by charging DOE for deficient nuclear quality materials, services, and testing that was provided at the Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) at DOE’s Hanford Site near Richland, Washington.”
|The Facts:||Arco cryogenic platform explosion caused by improper cold cut of Southern Natural Gas pipeline.|
|Our Result:||Settlement for the injured and deceased in approximately twelve months.|
The ARCO and Southern Natural Gas pipeline cryogenic platform explosion happened on March 19, 1989, in the Gulf of Mexico. Southern Natural Gas Pipelines’ production pipeline was connected to ARCO’s cryogenic platform via a riser that included a large ball valve on a 20 inch diameter pipe. A third-party contractor work boat was moored alongside the cryogenic platform at the location of the riser and ball valve.
Drillship Seacrest Capsize
|The Facts:||The drillship Seacrest capsized in the Gulf of Thailand during Typhoon Gay in November of 1989, killing 91 of 97 crew members.|
|Our Result:||As a result of the firm’s efforts, its clients, who were the surviving families of the victims drowned in the catastrophe, recovered millions of dollars in damages.|
This case involved the drillship Seacrest, which capsized in the Gulf of Thailand during Typhoon Gay in November of 1989. Out of 97 crew members working on the Seacrest that day, only six survived. Our firm represented the families of American crew members who did not survive the disaster.
Penrod MODU Collapse
|The Facts:||Penrod mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) collapsed during a violent and damaging hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.|
|Our Result:||As a result of our firm’s efforts, our clients received millions of dollars in damages from the responsible parties.|
Despite predictions of an oncoming hurricane, Penrod and Chevron USA decided to leave their full crew on board the rig to “ride out the storm.” They apparently believed the storm would never become a hurricane, but on the night of October 27, the storm developed into a massive hurricane boasting 80 knot winds and 30 foot seas.
Murphy Oil Spill
|The Facts:||Oil storage tank rupture at the Murphy Oil USA refinery in Chalmette, LA following the levee breaches during Hurricane Katrina.|
|Our Result:||$330,000,000.00 settlement and is the fastest class certification and resolution of a case of its type and magnitude to date.|
The Murphy Oil spill in Chalmette, LA resulted from a storage tank rupture at the Murphy Oil USA refinery following levee breaches during Hurricane Katrina. US District Judge Eldon Fallon appointed Hugh Lambert to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee to represent the interests of all those affected by the oil contamination that spread through much of the area surrounding the Chalmette refinery.
|The Facts:||Drywall imported from China off-gassed sulfurous compounds that ultimately destroyed homes by corroding wiring, HVAC units, plumbing, appliances and other fixtures.|
|Our Result:||After several successful trials, settlement by all but one defendant manufacturer and total damages of over $1,100,000,000.00 in value to homeowners.|
In the aftermath of several devastating hurricanes in the mid-2000s, the United States Southeast experienced a shortage in drywall, which was filled when suppliers and builders purchased drywall manufactured in China. Unfortunately, much of the drywall manufactured in China contained excess sulfur compounds which were then emitted into homes after being installed, corroding electrical wiring, appliances, plumbing and other fixtures.
M/V Bright Field
|The Facts:||The M/V Bright Field was a loaded cargo ship that lost power on the Mississippi River and slammed into the Riverwalk in New Orleans.|
|Our Result:||Chief Federal District Judge Morey Sear appointed the Lambert Firm to act as Liaison Counsel for the injured individuals and damaged businesses.|
The M/V Bright Field was a loaded cargo ship going down stream on the Mississippi River when it lost power and steering capabilities. The vessel slammed into the Riverwalk, a commercial shopping area in New Orleans, in the middle of the day while shoppers and others were present. Sixty-six people were injured and many buildings and shops were damaged.
Deckhand Injures Back Lifting Transfer Hose
|The Facts:||Deckhand on a push boat injured his back after being instructed to move a transfer hose by hand from one fuel barge to another.|
|Our Result:||Non-confidential settlement of $850,000.00 for the injured deckhand.|
Vessel owners are required to provide appropriate, adequate, and functioning gear and appurtenances to handle the task to which the crew is assigned. When vessel owners fail to provide the necessary equipment to perform a job safely, they are liable for damages caused by their negligence or the unseaworthiness of their vessel.
|The Facts:||Deckhand on a push boat was forced to land a skiff by himself while the push boat was underway.|
|Our Result:||The Lambert Firm successfully resolved the case by showing that the deckhand had no help landing the skiff because the mate was on his cell phone and the pilot was inattentive to radio calls for assistance.|
Under the Jones Act and General Maritime Law, vessel owners are required to provide a crew adequately trained and sufficient in number to safely carry out the mission and purpose of the vessel.
Midstream Transfer Crane Accident
|The Facts:||Utility man was instructed by the crane operator to load the clam-shell with water bottles for the toppers in the hole of the cargo ship. As the utility man placed the bottles in the clam-shell, the crane operator abruptly closed the clam-shell, crushing the utility man’s hand.|
|Our Result:||The Lambert Firm maritime injury lawyers were able to negotiate a settlement with the vessel owner on behalf of the utility man by showing that the crane operator had improperly supervised the utility man, who had not yet been sufficiently trained in working on the river.|
Although the overall purpose of a midstream transfer operation, whether on the river or in a harbor, is to move cargo to and from vessels, the crew members of any vessels involved are often still Jones Act Seamen and are not Longshoremen, because they are assigned to vessels, including crane barges, crew boats and tug boats.
Roustabout Injured in Wireline Incident
|The Facts:||Roustabout injured when wireline operator pulled a tool through a shiv, causing the tool and shiv to fall to the drill floor.|
|Our Result:||The Lambert Firm was able to negotiate a settlement of the roustabout’s case despite numerous complexities and other complications.|
Cases aren’t always as simple as “who done it?” and “how much do they owe?” Although we can never guarantee a given result, what we can guarantee is that we won’t sugarcoat how we feel about your case. If you’re honest with us, you’ll get an honest assessment of how we feel about your case.
Tankerman Falls From Icy Ladder Rungs
|The Facts:||A tankerman was ordered to prepare for product transfer on a fuel barge despite icy conditions and fell from the rungs of a push knee where ice had formed on the rungs of the attached ladder.|
|Our Result:||The Lambert Firm’s maritime injury attorneys secured a favorable settlement for the tankerman by showing that the captain was negligent in ordering the tankerman to work in unsafe conditions, that the ladder rungs were improperly designed to prevent slippage, and that the vessel was unseaworthy for failing to maintain appropriate gear and tools to work in icy conditions.|
Vessels can be unseaworthy for many reasons. And although Jones Act seamen are often subjected to unsafe conditions that are beyond the vessel owner’s control, vessel owners are still required by law to provide appropriate gear to handle these dangerous conditions.
Oiler’s Arm Torn by Cable Jerk
|The Facts:||An Oiler’s arm and shoulder were injured when the cable headline he was attempting to change was jerked from his grasp as the crane barge he was on listed suddenly to one side.|
|Our Result:||The Lambert Firm maritime team successfully settled the case by demonstrating to the vessel owner that the crane operator should have stopped the crane from swinging until the headline was changed.|
Sacrificing safety to get a job done faster is all too common in the maritime world and is one of the most common causes of seaman injuries.
Welder Injured by Collapsing Ladder
|The Facts:||Welder assigned to a construction and salvage derrick barge and cargo barge flotilla was injured while on an unsecured ladder that collapsed.|
|Our Result:||The Lambert Firm’s offshore injury lawyers successfully resolved the case by arguing that another crewman’s failure to secure the ladder created what is known in admiralty law as a “ transitory unseaworthy condition” for which the vessel owner is liable.|
A transitory unseaworthy condition exists temporarily but nevertheless could have been avoided. It doesn’t always take a hole in the hull or deck of a vessel for the vessel to be found unseaworthy; it could just as easily be a misplaced line or shackle left in the wrong place or an unsecured ladder left in a working position.
Deckhand’s Shoulder Injured by Cable Jerk
|The Facts:||Deckhand’s shoulder was torn when a cable was jerked from his grasp by an inattentive pilot.|
|Our Result:||The Lambert Firm’s maritime lawyers were able to negotiate settlement by demonstrating to the vessel owner that the entire operation was unsafe, including poor lighting, insufficient training of the crew, poor job planning and an inattentive pilot.|
Derrickman Trips On Cable
|The Facts:||A Derrickman on a fixed platform tripped on a cable and injured his back.|
|Our Result:||Although the incident was unreported, as many incidents often are, The Lambert Firm’s offshore injury lawyers were able to demonstrate that the derrickman’s back injury was work-related despite the fact that the derrickman was arguably at fault for not paying attention. Because he was a longshoreman, The Lambert Firm was nevertheless able to negotiate a successful resolution of his claims by showing that the injury was work related.|
Often offshore workers don’t report injuries because A) they hope it just gets better and B) they want to keep their job and keep working. Just because you don’t report an injury or incident doesn’t mean you don’t have a claim.
Coverstacker Has Hand Crushed By Barge Cover
|The Facts:||A coverstacker’s hand was crushed by a barge cover while he was working on the river.|
|Our Result:||The Lambert Firm’s maritime injury lawyers were able to resolve the case favorably for the injured coverstacker by arguing that he was Jones Act seaman and not a Longshoreman.|
Just because you go to a shape-up yard and belong to a local ILA chapter doesn’t mean you’re automatically a Longshoreman. If necessary, The Lambert Firm’s experienced maritime attorneys know how to discover the facts necessary to determine Jones Act status.
Roughneck Injures Back Pulling Slips With No Help
|The Facts:||Roughneck injured his back when he was required to pull slips by himself, with no assistance from other floorhands available to help.|
|Our Result:||The Lambert Firm’s offshore injury attorneys resolved the case by arguing that the drilling barge was unseaworthy because it had an insufficient crew to safely trip pipe.|
“Work it till it hurts; drill it till it squirts.” may be a clever rhyme, but it is NOT an appropriate motto for working offshore. All jobs require a sufficient crew, and without one, people get hurt and the employer is at fault.
Deckhand Falls Overboard
|The Facts:||Deckhand fell overboard while trying to secure a line.|
|Our Result:||The Lambert Firm first helped an injured deckhand obtain the maintenance and cure to which he was entitled. Next, we settled the injured deckhand’s case by showing that the barge’s deck lacked an appropriate non-skid surface where one was needed.|
Falling overboard is one of the most frightening dangers that seaman face every day. Even when seamen are properly equipped with work vests and flotation devices, falling overboard is often deadly. That is why non-skid surfaces, appropriate railings, hand holds and other safety precautions and devices are so important when working on a vessel.