Delaware Dredging Accident: Settlement Reached

The 4-year-old daughter of a crane operator who was tragically killed in a December 2014 dredging accident will be taken care of for the rest of her life as a result of attorney Matthew Shaffer’s negotiation of a $2.5 million dollar settlement in a mere 60 days.

The single father from Newport News, Va., was working for Norfolk Dredging aboard a crane barge in Delaware when the barge capsized on December 2 and 3 crew members were thrown into the Christina River. Two other workers were rescued immediately, but the single father remained trapped in the crane operating station and drowned. His body was recovered nearly 24 hours later.

The Norfolk Dredging crew was performing routine dredging operations in the Port of Wilmington in Delaware,Shaffer said. “When the dredge barge is being moved, the standing order is for the cutting dredge to cease cutting operations. Due to miscommunications and a failure to follow proper procedure in this occasion, the crane operator was pulling up the anchors when the cutting apparatus started, which caused the crane barge to flip over. He was trapped in the crane and couldn’t escape.”

Attorney Shaffer, managing partner of the maritime law firm Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, filed a claim against the worker’s employer, Norfolk Dredging, under the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act.

Of the $2.5 million settlement, the majority of the funds will go into a trust to provide financial security for the future of the 4-year old daughter left behind by the worker’s untimely death, Shaffer said.

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3rd International Congress Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging

Russia’s leading maritime industry Media Group PortNews ( holds a traditional annual Congress “Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging” in Moscow. 

The two-day Congress includes the 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies and the 3rd Technical Conference “Modern Solutions for Hydraulic Engineering”.

Infrastructure development is among the real sources of Russia’s economy growth. Construction of port facilities and new hydraulic engineering structures on the country’s inland waterways constitute an essential part of all infrastructure projects. It is important to take into account the best international practices to implement these projects effectively.

The program of the Congress will be devoted to the latest technologies for dredging and hydraulic engineering works. Speakers and delegates will refer to real projects to discuss specifics features of dredging works, as well as dedicated fleet and equipment involved.

To learn more about event, please, contact the organizing committee:

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