Ferry and Cargo Ship Collide in the Philippines

A cargo ship was leaving a port in waters between southern Philippine islands when it collided with a passenger ferry carrying over 700 people. The passenger ferry sank after sending out a distress call, and the cargo ship sustained severe damage. Authorities rescued 750 people and recovered the bodies of 55 people killed by the crash. An estimated 65 people are still missing, spurning an ongoing search for those not accounted for.

Washington provides a state ferry system that serves eight counties within Washington and part of British Columbia. Washington's various waterways, whether it is Elliot Bay or Lake Washington, can become thick with passenger and commercial vessel traffic. Proper watch is necessary to avoid collisions between ships and injuries to those onboard. Legal remedies can be found for those who are injured onboard, regardless of whether it is the result of a collision or event onboard.

Ferry workers are susceptible to events that lead to injuries on ferry boats. One example is found within a state court case, Caraska v. State of Washington Depot. of Transportation, 140 Wn. App. 1022, (1st Div. 2007). The ferry worker sued the Washington State Ferry (WSF) for injuries sustained after the passenger assaulted him. The worker claimed the ferry was negligent in allowing the drunk passenger to board. The worker also claimed that the WSF failed to train workers, which created an unseaworthy vessel. The WSF rebutted liability by asserting they could not have known the passenger would have turned violent when he boarded because he was not threatening or aggressive in the terminal.

The court determined that the correct way to assess the injured worker's claim was to look at whether the injured ferry worker showed that the employees failed to follow the policy for dealing with passengers who were violent, disorderly, disruptive, or confrontational. Like other cases of negligence in maritime law, the injured plaintiff must show that a duty was owed, that there was a failure to perform that duty, that an injury was caused as a result of the injury, and the amount of damage, or cost, incurred as a result of the injury to the worker. In order to show that the ship was unseaworthy, the injured party would have to show that the WSF failed in their duty to implement their safety policies by not properly training their staff and that the boat was either understaffed or ill-trained.

If you are a ferry worker who has been injured, contact the Washington ferry worker injury attorneys, Gordon Webb and John Merriam. Their experience as seamen and maritime and admiralty attorneys has provided them with the knowledge they need to get injured seamen the compensation they deserve. Our attorneys understand the financial hardships injured workers and family members face when there are lost wages and medical bills. If you've been injured and would like to speak to one of our attorneys in a free, confidential consultation then call our office today at 877.800.1007.

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