Plaintiff, a 37 year old Jones Act seaman working aboard defendant’s vessel as mechanical technician sustained second-degree burns to 45 percent of his body after being drenched with hot zinc bromide when a tank mixing the zinc bromide with sand was allowed to overheat causing a plumbing failure. Suit was filed alleging negligence under the Jones Act and General Maritime Law Unseaworthiness.

Plaintiff, who was initially helicoptered to a local hospital, was later air-evacuated to a burn center where he was admitted and remained for 33 days. Following his discharge, plaintiff was transferred to an in house rehabilitation unit for 17 days. He continued physical rehabilitation and wound care after returning home. Medical costs were approximately $300,000.

Plaintiff’s recovery was impressive in light of the initial chemical burns. He continues home physical therapy and is being treated for high blood pressure related to the injury, eye burns, depression and PTSD.

A seven-year employee of the defendant, plaintiff’s annual earnings were $56,000 at the time of the incident. His future wage and benefit loss was estimated at approximately $900,000.

Defendant’s initially asserted a comparative negligence defense but stipulated to liability at the conclusion of extensive discovery conducted over a one-year period.

Following a bench trial, judgment in the amount of $5,644,496.00 was rendered. The Court also awarded judicial interest at the rate of 5% from date of injury, bringing the total judgment to $6 million with costs included.

Plaintiff counsel:
Alton J. Hall, Jr.
Bobby J. Delise
Delise and Hall
Covington, LA

Plaintiff Experts
John Thompson, MD
Forensic Psychiatry
Randy Rice
Thomas Meunier, Jr.
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
Geoff Webster
Maritime Safety

CIVIL ACTION NO: 06-11253 JUDGE CARL J. BARBIER United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Commercial Diver sustains Decompression Illness: $1,150,000 Settlement
Plaintiff, a 33 year old commercial diver, sustained decompression illness when a saturation diving system malfunctioned in the living quarters of the system while he and three other divers were preparing to commence diving operations in the Gulf of Mexico from the S & J Diving DSV (diver support vessel) UNDERWATER CHAMPION.

Once reaching the storage depth of 300 feet “all hell broke loose” aboard the system as hoses burst, gauges malfunctioned and couplings broke free of the living quarters. The system began to rapidly lose pressure threatening the life of all four divers. Realizing that the divers were in great peril the dive support crew frantically stabilized the system, fearful that without emergency procedures the fate of the four divers would be doomed.

Thankfully, the divers reached surface after five days stored in the system as the four divers underwent decompression. Mr. Williams was brought to the hospital where received recompression hyperbaric treatment. As a result of the incident he sustained serious decompression illness a condition which permanently disqualified Mr. Williams from returning to his career as a commercial diver. In addition to his symptoms of decompression illness, Mr. Williams exhibited symptoms appropriate to post traumatic stress disorder.

At the time of the incident, Mr. Williams was earning approximately $575 per day. The parties settled the claim for $1,150,000 at mediation.

Cody Williams v. S&J Diving, Inc.

NO.: 05-2731 SECTION “N”
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Plaintiff counsel:
Bobby J. Delise, Alton J. Hall, Jr., Delise and Hall, New Orleans, LA.

Plaintiff Experts:
John Thompson, M.D. post traumatic stress disorder
Randall Rice, Ph. D, economist
John Grimes, Ph. D., vocational rehabilitation.

Commercial diver sustains Fracture of Leg: Settlement of $715,000

Plaintiff, a commercial diver, sustained a fracture to his femur when a four pound coupling on a jet pump parted on the deck of a jack up vessel during diving operations. The coupling struck plaintiff just below his hip as he was supervising a fellow diver’s dive. Plaintiff was rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery to place a pin in his femur. Because of the physical demands required of a commercial diver plaintiff was disqualified from diving.

It was learned during discovery that the ferrule on the coupling was improperly assembled prior to being delivered to the vessel. Suit was brought against the owner of the jet hose, its manufacturer as well as the general contractor on the project.

Following his rehabilitation and physical therapy plaintiff returned as operations manager for his employer earning $70,000 per year. At mediation the parties settled the case for $715,000.

Randolph Howie v. Redfish Rentals, Taylor Specialties, Inc. and Settoon Construction, Inc.

United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana

Plaintiff counsel:
Bobby J. Delise and Alton J. Hall, Jr., Delise and Hall, New Orleans, LA.

Plaintiff Experts:
Randall Rice, Ph. D, economist
John Grimes, Ph. D., vocational rehabilitation.

Commercial Diver Sustains Third Degree Burns to Hand: Settlement $1.9 Million

40 year old commercial saturation diver sustained third degree burns when an underwater burning torch he was using malfunctioned. Diver settles with Jones Act employer/vessel owner and manufacturer of torch for $1,900,000.

A 40 year old commercial saturation diver sustained third degree burns when a Broco, Inc. BR-22 burning torch malfunctioned while the diver was attempting to burn a jacket leg at a depth of 234 feet in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. Following the malfunction the diver struggled to return to the diving bell and underwent four days decompression in the vessel’s saturation system prior to being evacuated to the burn unit. At the time of the incident, Mr. Rosenbaum was assigned to the Cal-Dive International DSV (diver support vessel) CALDIVER II. In addition to his burns, the diver sustained minor Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is permanently disqualified from continuing his career as a commercial diver.

Investigation revealed that the diver, a 16 year veteran in commercial diving, properly used the torch, and was not at fault.

Suit was filed in the United States Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The diver filed his cause of action against his employer, Cal-Dive International, under the Jones Act; he further presented his claim against Cal-Dive International which owned and operated the CALDIVER II under the General Maritime Law for unseaworthiness. Cal-Dive International filed a third party claim against Broco, Inc. under Louisiana Products Liability Law alleging that the torch was defective.

At the time of the incident Mr. Rosenbaum was earning $625 per day in saturation, as well as receiving employee health insurance and pension benefits.

At mediation, and with the assistance of the magistrate at the District Court, Cal- Dive International and Broco, Inc. settled with Mr. Rosenbaum at for $1.9 million dollars. Broco, Inc. agreed to fund half the settlement in consideration for Mr. Rosenbaum’s not instituting litigation against Broco. Cal-Dive International tried its case against Broco, Inc. At trial the jury was assessed equal liability to each defendant in connection with the incident.

Anthony Rosenbaum versus Cal Dive International, Inc.

CA No. 04-3274, U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Plaintiff counsel and LTLA members:
Bobby J. Delise and Alton J. Hall, Jr, of the New Orleans based law firm Delise, Amedee and Hall

Experts for plaintiff:
Dr. Dianna Barrett, neurologist,
Dr. John Thompson, forensic psychiatrist,
Dr. Randall Rice, economist,
Dr. John Grimes, vocational rehabilitation.


Contact the experienced team at DAH today and start getting your life back to normal. With offices on both sides of the lake, we provide personal injury representation for clients throughout metro New Orleans as well as the St. Tammany Parish communities of Mandeville, Covington and Slidell. We also serve Hammond and the entire Tangipahoa Parish area.