Berney Strauss is representing some of the men. He’s been practicing maritime law for years, but has never seen a disaster this bad. “I cant remember a worse one, there have been a number on the Gulf but this ranks right up among the top” Strauss says.
Now, Strauss is preparing his clients for a legal war, as he expects Transocean to file a lawsuit in federal court against the workers…it sounds strange but it’s a legal way they may be able to get out of paying damages. “If the ship owner, that is Transocean, can show that they had no privity of knowledge of any negligence that was involved or any defective equipment that is un-seaworthiness is the legal term, then they theoretically don’t have to pay anything” Strauss says.
Still, he thinks the victims will all see some money. “I would think it will be hundreds of millions of dollars” he adds.
Unfortunately, it could take years….and in the meantime, those workers could be seriously struggling. Strauss explains, “Under the Jones Act, the company only has to pay the worker a small amount called maintenance and that’s like $25 a day.”
The one piece of advice Strauss says he’d give all the men don’t talk. Consult an attorney to learn more about your rights before you say or sign anything.