Everyone’s worst nightmare is learning that a loved one has died due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, business, or entity. If you are here today because you lost a loved one, please accept our condolences. At The Law Offices of J. Jeffery Herman, our Ventura County wrongful death lawyers are ready to help those in need. Today, we want to talk about the Conception boat fire that happened off the shores of Santa Cruz Island. What are the issues being examined and how could this case proceed?
What is going on in this case?
Nearly everyone has seen the news related to the horrific boat fire off the coast of Santa Cruz Island on Labor Day that claimed the lives of 34 people. Multiple agencies are involved in the ongoing investigation, including the FBI, US Coast Guard, and the US Attorney in Los Angeles. Stories have confirmed that there is an ongoing criminal probe into the incident and that federal search warrants have been executed in Santa Barbara, where the boat was chartered out of.
Investigators have been gathering evidence in the case and have interviewed the boat’s captain and four crew members who survived the incident. Investigations are looking into a variety of safety issues, including whether there was a roving night watchman on duty at the time the fire broke out. Whether the crew on board had adequate training to handle a major emergency on the vessel is also being examined.
Truth Aquatics Inc., the owner of Conception, has long been known as being safety-conscious and maintaining their vessels. In this case, it is assumed that charges would be brought under the little-known federal law called the Seaman’s Manslaughter Statute. The law has been around since before the Civil War and was enacted to “punish negligent captains, engineers and pilots for deadly steamboat accidents.” It has been used in situations similar to this one over the last few decades.
While there have been no civil wrongful death claims yet, we are certain that family members of the survivors will be watching the criminal investigation closely.
As of this writing, 33 bodies have been recovered from the ocean, and 22 have been identified.
We are ready to get to work today
If you have lost a loved one due to the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of someone else, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of J. Jeffery Herman, our qualified and experienced team is ready to get to work on your behalf. We understand that these cases can become complex, but we are ready to secure the compensation you deserve. This can include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future income and benefits of the deceased
- Cost of pre-death medical care
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of companionship damages
- Punitive damages against those responsible