Hurricane Joaquin: Sunken Ship Prompts Lawsuit

Hurricane Joaquin was one of what is predicted to be very few hurricanes in American waters this year. As it wound its path north and east into the Atlantic ocean, it caused quite a lot of damage to the East Coast. Damage included flooding, destruction, and wind damage. In addition to these damages, a tragic event occurred when a 150-foot commercial ship sank to the bottom of the sea.

The ship, loaded with cargo bound for Puerto Rico, carried cars, trucks, trailers, and containers. The ill-fated ship was 40 years and old and was slated to be replaced by a ship being built in San Diego. Before the ship sailed on its routine voyage, there was warning of the storm that was pounding the seas in its path.

Ignoring those warnings, it is reported that the ship’s captain decided to face the storm and take his 40-year-old ship, crew, and cargo directly into the storm. Unfortunately, the ship succumbed to the winds, waves, and storm and sunk as a result. There were a number of reasons why the ship sunk - the engines failed, the storm was too much for the ship to handle, and others. Now the families of the victims are left to wonder if it could have been avoided.

Survivors File Lawsuit

In the aftermath of what happened, the survivors have filed a lawsuit against the company for negligence. The suit was filed in state court in Florida, but chances are it will be removed to federal court where a federal judge will preside over the proceedings. Since it is a negligence suit, its main issues will be decided by state law, but as it happened in the ocean, maritime law will also play a role in the case.

At its heart, negligence law holds a person or company to a standard of reasonable behavior. This standard has been developed over hundreds of years and thousands of cases. Our legal system has come to the conclusion that when a person or company acts unreasonably towards another and causes damages, then that person or company should be made to pay for the harm they caused.

Damages, as in this case, should cover all the damages that people suffer from the negligence of others. This includes the pain and suffering, loss of work, and most importantly loss of life. But how can anyone put a number on things like pain, loss of life, and suffering? That is the role of the jury - to decide how much a company or person should pay for the suffering they have caused.

Panama City Area Negligence Attorney

It is situations such as these where it is so important for a qualified negligence attorney to defend the rights of victims. Without an attorney willing to make wrongdoers pay for their negligence, our society would be less safe and victims would have fewer avenues of recovery for their loss, pain, and suffering.

Wes Pittman of The Pittman Firm is a negligence attorney in the Panama City area. At The Pittman Firm, we fight on behalf of the victims of other’s negligence and ensure that wrongdoers pay when they cause harm to others. If you have been injured in an accident, or lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, contact us. We look forward to going over your case with you and giving you your legal options in your case.


See related blog posts: New Ruling Gives Cruise Line Passengers Right to Sue for Medical Malpractice; Before Sailing to Paradise: Know Your Rights.
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