Maritime Subrogation

Maritime law involves a unique body of law involving special rules and procedures. Maritime law deals with the activities and relationships occurring on the navigable waters, such as the oceans, lakes, and rivers. Maritime law also covers many of the commercial activities that, although land based, are maritime in nature. Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution grants original jurisdiction to the federal courts over admiralty and maritime matters. However, the vast majority of maritime actions, such as suits for damage to cargo, injuries to seamen, and subrogation actions may be brought in either state or federal court under the “Saving-to-Suitors” Clause.

Whether the case involves a vessel, marina, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation or another maritime contract or tort, the attorneys at Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. (MWL)  have the knowledge and experience to deal with your large loss maritime cases. Our team works with maritime surveyors and cause and origin experts to properly investigate these unique losses. We have the experience necessary to analyze and apply the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), Jones Act, or Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) law to your file to see to it that you receive the maximum subrogation recovery possible. In fact, our book, Workers’ Compensation Subrogation In All 50 States, published by Juris Publishing, Inc., New York, contains an entire chapter dedicated to the LHWCA.

If your loss involves an accident on the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, or any state inland lake or other major national waterways, MWL is here to help you understand and take action on any recovery potential you may have. Gary Wickert practiced in Houston, Texas for nearly 15 years, including a comprehensive background in admiralty, maritime, Jones Act, and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation. Our comprehensive knowledge of and special focus on all workings of our country’s maritime judicial system is put to work for you and your subrogation department. Whether the issue involves limitation of liability, vessel negligence, offshore product liability, ocean marine, LHWCA subrogation, Jones Act, or insurance coverage issues relating to any of the above, we are here to help provide you with the right answers and immediate solutions and action on your subrogation files.

Admiralty/Inland and Ocean Marine – London Subrogation

For more than 30 years, our firm has been representing the property and reinsurance subrogation needs of the Lloyds Claims Center, London underwriters, syndicates, and London market insurers. This includes aggressive subrogation representation in admiralty, cargo recovery/subrogation, property damage, and maritime related personal injury cases. In one Lloyds’ claim alone, we turned a naturally-occurring inland marine disaster into more than $7 million in subrogation recoveries, and also brokered a deal bringing back a major auto manufacturer as an insured to the London market as a result of the recovery. Everybody was a winner.

MWL regularly visits its London clients, performing closed and open file subrogation reviews, and giving subrogation seminars. We have routinely brought syndicates together to apportion both the cost of subrogation efforts and the benefits of large subrogation recoveries. Understanding the London market as well as the “Lloyds way of doing things” is a necessity in order to successfully implement both recognition of and action on subrogation potential.

We handle inland and ocean marine transportation and cargo losses involving and/or utilizing intermodal units, marine and cargo containers, railroad and over-the-road transportation, ocean cargo, as well as subrogation of all losses and claims involving goods and means of transportation involved in the transporting of goods overland or by inland waterways. By applying the same aggressive and creative subrogation philosophy to these claims as we do to workers’ compensation and health insurance subrogation, we ensure that our clients see every possible subrogation dollar possible.

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