Many of you maritime and overseas workers know first-hand the extent of truck and ship air pollution which has loomed over the Port areas for many years.  According to a Sierra Club study, residents of West Oakland live ten years less than their neighbors in the Oakland Hills.  The same study reports that one in five West Oakland children suffer from asthma.

The Port has stated that the pollution problem is getting better but it remains potentially disabling and deadly.  One look at the line of trucks entering the Port demonstrates the extent of the problem.  For many of you the damage has already been done.

If you have been diagnosed with Asthma or other pulmonary problems you may have a valid claim for compensation under the Longshore Act and the Defense Base Act.  The legal test for compensability is whether conditions of your employment caused, aggravated, accelerated or precipitation your disability.  In other words it has to be shown that asthma or other pulmonary problems were worsened by your waterfront or overseas employment.  If the asthma is preexisting the work at the Port or overseas only has to have made it slightly worse to be compensable.

If you have worked on the docks and have been diagnosed with any breathing difficulty such as asthma, emphysema, bronchitis and wish to pursue a claim, please contact the attorneys at Weltin, Streb & Weltin, LLP today.

The following are examples of financial recovery by maritime workers who are not seamen and contractors employed overseas for a noise induced hearing loss.  The current maximum compensation rate under the Longshore & Harbor Worker Act is $1295.20 per week which is measured by the workers average weekly earnings.

Under longshore law a 100% loss of hearing in both ears entitles the maritime worker to 200 weeks of compensation.  Fortunately, hardly anyone has a 100% hearing loss due to noise.  However, most maritime workers and contractors covered under the Defense Base Act who are exposed to excessive noise on a continuous basis have a hearing loss. Whether it is an IED explosion in Afghanistan or waterfront equipment injurious noise causes permanent injury.

Ten percent noise induced hearing loss entitles the injured worker to 20 weeks of compensation which when multiplied by the maximum compensation rate of $1295.20 per week would result in a settlement of $25,904.00 plus future medical rights.

Many maritime workers and overseas contractors are working with a hearing loss and are currently due monetary settlements as outlined above.  If the worker continues in maritime employment and an additional hearing loss is sustained a second claim for the additional hearing loss may be filed.

This is a benefit  that is rightfully yours right now. If you think you have a hearing loss as a result of maritime employment, please contact the attorneys at Weltin, Streb & Weltin, LLP today. Any fee for our services is paid by your last maritime employer or its insurance carrier.  The numbers mentioned above are net to you and are tax free.