“The test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.”
- Pearl S. Buck

Seattle Maritime & Railroad Injury Attorney

Jones Act Attorney in Seattle
The maritime industry has one of the highest injury rates of any industry in the United States.

Injured maritime workers (seaman) and railroad workers have the ability to bring claims against their employers.  This is different from other workers, who can only obtain workers’ compensation from their employers.

Maritime Injuries: The Jones Act and General Maritime Law

The Jones Act and General Maritime Law protect crewmembers on boats against negligence and unseaworthiness.  Work on boats is dangerous and serious injuries and death claims are all too common.

When an injury or death occurs on or around a boat, there are many facts and issues that must be considered.

Kevin Coluccio’s first work as a lawyer included handling maritime claims, and working to protect the rights of maritime workers and their families.  In the past 3 decades, he has seen how injuries happen aboard ships, tugs, fishing boats, barges, derricks and docks – and how these injuries could have been prevented.

You can talk to Coluccio Law for a free consultation about maritime injuries.

Seattle FELA Railroad Accident Attorney

Railroad Injuries: The Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA)

The Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) was created in 1908.  FELA provides comprehensive protection to railroad workers and their families.

Given the nature of work at rail yards and around equipment, locomotives and rail cars, serious injuries such as burns, broken bones, head injuries and loss of limb are common occurrences.  In addition, many railroad workers are killed on the job each year.

As a railroad worker, you are entitled to compensation if your employer’s negligence caused or contributed to your injury.  FELA also provides compensation to families who have lost a loved one due to an employer’s negligence.

The work at railroads is unique, and understanding how and why an accident happened requires knowledge of the nature of the industry.  Kevin Coluccio has been representing railroad workers since the beginning of his legal career over 25 years ago.  His experience allows him to get to the important facts involved in an accident quickly.

Consult with an experienced attorney

It is important to investigate a maritime or railroad incident as soon as possible.

  • Witnesses need to be interviewed while their memories are fresh.
  • Equipment needs to be preserved for inspection before it’s repaired or altered.
  • The scene of the incident needs to be photographed.

Given that crewmembers come from all across the country to work on a boat, it is also important to talk with them as soon as possible.

You can talk to Coluccio Law for a free consultation.


Maritime Articles and Publications by Kevin Coluccio
Maritime Damages


Maritime and Railroad case results obtained by Kevin Coluccio

Carter v. Fishing Company
Confidential settlement

A crew of 5 were traveling to fishing grounds from Seattle when their boat began to take on water. The crew made every effort to keep the boat afloat, but it sank off the coast of Canada.

Waves were high, but the entire crew was able to make it to a lifeboat. As the seas became heavier, the lifeboat flipped and the crew was thrown out into the water. They again were able to make it back into the lifeboat, but lost some of the survival gear stowed in the lifeboat.

The crew remained adrift in the open seas for 5 days. They survived by drinking rainwater. At one point they were able to catch a seagull and ate it raw.

They did not see or hear any other boats until the 5th day. When they heard another boat and finally saw it crossing their path, they fired a flare gun to catch the crew’s attention and were saved.

Each of the crewmembers suffered from dehydration and a lack of nutrition, and emotional damage.

Detailed photographs of the boat prior to the journey and while it was in dry dock established that the depth markings on the bow of the boat were wrong. In addition, the scuppers on deck were faulty, and did not allow for water washed on deck to drain properly.

Kevin Coluccio reached a settlement on behalf of two of the crewmembers.

Estate v. Arctic
Confidential settlement

The tragic sinking of a vessel resulted in the loss of its entire crew.

Through investigation and interviews with former crewmembers, numerous unsafe conditions were uncovered.

The surviving family members and their attorneys, including attorney Kevin Coluccio, worked with the Coast Guard to discover how and why the vessel sank. A settlement was ultimately reached for each of the deaths.

Medina v. Fishing Company
Confidential settlement

A young crewmember lost most of his hand when it was crushed in a machine.

The worker was properly doing his job when a co-worker activated the hydraulics on a press machine while the worker was placing a pan in the press to be re-formed.

The press was not equipped with the required safety devices. The press operator could not see the actions of the young crewmember.

Regulations required that the machine have proper safety devices, and the workers be properly trained.  These workers had been given no training.

Multiple surgeries were required to save a portion of the crewmember’s hand.  Through extensive rehabilitation, he was able to learn how to use a robotics device that would give him a significant amount of the hand function lost by the injury.

Kevin Coluccio earned him a settlement to take care of his future rehabilitation and robotic devices, and help him to provide for his young son.  Additionally, because of this case, it is likely that the machine will be properly equipped with safety devices, and safety training will be provided to the crewmembers using the machine.

“H.” v. Railroad
Confidential settlement

The railroad is required to make sure the workplace is safe for workers to do their jobs. “H.” was a dedicated worker, skilled in his craft. When H. went to do his job, the work surface was left with unsafe holes, which were not visible at night.

As H. was going to perform an assigned duty, he stepped into the hole and suffered injuries to his leg and knee. Extensive medical treatment was required as a result of the extent of the injuries.

It was first denied that the workplace was unsafe, however, during litigation, documents were uncovered establishing H.’s case and leading to settlement.

The confidential settlement, obtained by Kevin Coluccio, was the largest known in-service settlement for an injured worker from this railroad at the time.

The railroad is required to make sure the workplace is safe for workers to do their jobs.  Hannula was a dedicated worker, skilled in his craft.  When Hannula went to do his job, the work surface was left with unsafe holes, which were not visible at night.

As Hannula was going to perform an assigned duty, he stepped into the hole and suffered injuries to his leg and knee.  Extensive medical treatment was required as a result of the extent of the injuries.

It was first denied that the workplace was unsafe, however, during litigation, documents were uncovered establishing Hannula’s case and leading to settlement.

The confidential settlement, obtained by Kevin Coluccio, was the largest known in-service settlement for an injured worker from this railroad at the time.