Many people have heard of ammonia as a combination of nitrogen and hydrogen that can be deadly. At room temperature, it is colorless but has a distinct smell. If exposed to ammonia, an individual may not only suffer long-lasting side effects but could also die.

Fishing vessels commonly have ammonia leaks because they have large ammonia-based refrigeration systems, used to store fish products at sea. When the system begins leaking ammonia, it can cause crew injuries, including lung damage, industrial asthma, or other pulmonary conditions, or can result in an explosion.

Ammonia Leak Injury Attorneys | Washington, Alaska, California and Oregon

If you are a crew member of a vessel involved in an ammonia-related accident and have sustained an injury, you need the assistance of a practiced maritime attorney. You may feel frustrated and confused by the complexity of the legal process you must go through in order to obtain compensation. Thankfully, our maritime and admiralty lawyers at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP handle a variety of injuries caused by ammonia leaks on a vessel.

We represent injured maritime workers throughout Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and California. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call 1 (800) 262-8529 to secure an initial consultation with Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP today.

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Information Center

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Damages for Ammonia Leak Injuries

The damages incurred by someone injured on a vessel due to an ammonia leak may include loss of earnings, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

Loss Of Earnings

Loss of earnings includes past and future lost earnings. Past earnings are  earnings directly lost as a result of missing work to deal with the repercussions of the ammonia leak. Future earnings are earnings that someone is reasonably likely to lose because of their injuries. Such earnings may result from an inability to perform the same job or receive promotions, pay raises, or bonuses. For example, say that someone is exposed to ammonia vapors, resulting in frostbite requiring amputation. As a result, the individual can no longer work on the fishing vessel, and their new job has a lower salary range. The difference in lifetime salary may be awarded under future loss of earnings.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses include past and future medical costs. Past medical expenses are generally easy to calculate because medical invoices are itemized. However, future medical expenses are not as easy to calculate because they are based on a reasonable expectation of what treatments the victim will need in the future. To prove this in court, it usually requires medical expert witnesses who have reviewed the victim’s case and understands their injuries and what care will be required in the future.

Pain And Suffering

Several factors will be taken into consideration to determine the amount of damages that may be rewarded under pain and suffering. These factors include, but are not limited to, the severity of the injuries, the pain involved with the injury, the level of mental anguish that was caused by the injury, and in some cases, the pain and suffering family members endure as a result of the victim’s injury.

For example, someone will receive more damages if they sustain lifelong injuries, such as permanent lung damage or amputation, than if they experience something that only requires a few months of treatment.

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Example of an Ammonia Leak

A recent example of an ammonia leak on a fishing vessel occurred on April 6, 2022. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency received an emergency call reporting an accident on a tanker anchored in international waters off Port Klang. Unfortunately, the ammonia leak on the vessel led to one death and several critical injuries.

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Acts And Statutes Related to Ammonia Leaks

The Jones Act and the Seaman Manslaughter Statues may come into play regarding ammonia leaks.

The Jones Act

The Jones Act was established to provide a seaman with the same protections that railroad workers receive under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act.

The Seaman Manslaughter Statute

The Seaman Manslaughter Statute provides that a vessel owner can be held liable for its negligence that results in the death ofemployees. This is similar to a concept known as vicarious liability for land-based employers. Vicarious liability holds an employer liable for employee negligence if the employer knew or should have known of the employee’s actions.

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Additional Resources

Analytical Technology Website – This website provides information on testing for ammonia leaks.

United States Customs and Border Protection – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection website provides more information on the Jones Act.

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Washington, Alaska, California and Oregon Ammonia Leak Injury Lawyers

If you have suffered an injury from an ammonia leak, contact Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP. You may be entitled to compensation. Our experienced maritime injury attorneys have handled a variety of ammonia and other gas exposure cases for injured maritime workers and can do the same for you.

Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP serves clients in Washington, Alaska, California, and Oregon. Call 1 (800) 262-8529 to secure an initial consultation and have our lawyers pursue the best outcome possible for your case.

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