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Workers Involved in Barge Accident Near New Orleans

February 27th, 2012

New Orleans barge accidentOn February 17, 2012 at around 2 a.m., two commercial barges collided, causing oil to pour into the river. The barge accident occurred about 50 miles upriver from New Orleans. A five-mile stretch of river was closed to commercial traffic until late in the day, when it was reopened to one-way traffic.

The Mississippi river is a busy shipping line for many goods including oil, chemicals and grain. Barges frequently pass each other as they navigate up and down the river, shuttling goods between factories and the Gulf. Fortunately, in the case of the above accident, no injuries have yet been reported. Hopefully that means that none actually occurred. With barge accidents, this is not always the case.

Severe Injuries Have Resulted from the Collision of Barges

Two years ago in February 2010, a tanker and barge collided in Port Arthur in Texas, leaving at least two workers with serious injuries to their neck, back and respiratory systems. These workers have filed suit against the tanker owner for negligence. In July 2010, further up the Mississippi in Tennessee, three workers had to be transported to the hospital after a barge collision released toxic fumes that caused them to suffer respiratory distress.

The collision of barges can cause serious injuries to those on board because of the high intensity impact of such large vessels. When barges are carrying dangerous compounds, the risk to barge workers in seriously increased. Because of the high density of chemical, fertilizer and oil companies on the lower Mississippi, Louisiana barge workers face this danger daily.

When Barges Collide

The high force of impact from colliding barges may cause:

  • Loss of footing
  • Fall from a height
  • Shifting cargo
  • Release of toxic substances

Resulting injuries may include, but are certainly not limited to:

Barge workers who incur these injuries have to face medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain and discomfort and an overall decrease in their quality of life. Many barge workers qualify for protection under the Jones Act, and may thus be eligible for significantly more compensation for these expenses and losses than are provided by basic workers compensation.

Contact Us

If you or someone you know has been injured or if you have lost a loved one due to a barge accident contact our experienced attorneys at Lamothe Law Firm, LLC, today online or by phone at 877-249-6801 to find out if you are eligible for compensation. We offer a free consultation during which we will discuss how we can help secure your compensation.

Photo Credit: NY Daily News

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