Q: I need an attorney or to find out what organization handles maritime offenses for unseaworthy repairs that were hidden
I purchased a vessel out of a shipyard that had promised me a bottom job on a documented u.s. coast guard vessel. The vessel when I was taken to see it had the laminate structures completely ground down two to three layers of the outside layer of a cord vessel hull I was told I would receive an epoxy bottom job replacing the layers of fiberglass laminate that had been removed I found out an insurance claim that the shipyard that did the repairs are was supposed to complete the repairs instead of completing never replace the laminates stuckey quick fix rushed job to help a donation company Rush a cash sale taking my money promising me that this new epoxy bottom and all of the thru-hull fittings would be replaced I found out none of the work was done and a patch job leaving the vessel taking on water into the core making the vessel unseaworthy maritime law states attempted murder charges should be filed where do I go who do I call they sent me into open water in unseaworthy condition put
A: This is potentially a mixed question of maritime law and contract/consumer protection. The U S Coastguard in your District (there are 13 or so spread across the US depending on what State you live in) local office of marine safety or the marine safety officer at your District MIGHT be interested. However, since there was no actual event involving a vessel in navigation they not. A lot of what you are describing also involves State consumer protection issues. If you have a State (possibly your Attorney General Office) consumer protection office I would contact them. Finally, regardless of the above you should look for an attorney in your area who could advise you on civil contract issues, possible State consumer protection law, and how to go about suing for damages. Best way to go about this would be to talk to several attorneys by phone and see if an attorney would be willing to tske your case on a contingency or low fee basis. Most consumer protection laws provide for attorney fees, sometimes additional penalty damages, or other relief.
Talk to several lawyers over the phone, most attorneys in smaller scale practices likely would be happy to talk to you about your case over the phone, or even provide an initial consultation, for free. Another resource might be your local County Bar association. Many local attorney Bar Associations maintain lists of lawyers who have agreed to provide initial services for a limited fee and have been screened to be competent in the area of law most important to you. Best of Luck! Tom Evans, Partner, Injury At Sea (.com)
A: In terms of agencies or organizations, the U.S. Coast Guard Eleventh District covers your area, Sector Los Angeles - Long Beach. But they serve one of the most demanding Search and Rescue regions in the nation and are not likely to have resources to oversee a private vessel sale, especially if the matter does not involve safety issues related to carrying passengers for hire. If the matter involved classification of large steel vessels, it could have fallen under the American Bureau of Shipping. But because this is a private sale, a consult with a California attorney would help identify remedies that could be available. Good luck
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