A Reputation for Representing the Interest of Victims of Serious Accidents in New York & New Jersey
Hofmann & Schweitzer has a national reputation for creative and professional handling of major personal injury and death cases. The firm, founded in 1977, carried on the work of our predecessors who advocated for seamen's and railroad workers rights in the 1950's and 1960's, with many Supreme Court victories to their credit. Today, we have expanded our practice to represent many construction trade members, including carpenters, dockbuilders, electricians, iron workers, laborers, lathers, operating engineers, dredge men and a host of other specialties.
In 1977, the firm was formed, representing injured workers as well as a major transportation labor union. Over time, the name and the membership of the firm has evolved, but the focus is still upon representing the "little guy" against the well-funded corporations and insurance companies. Hofmann & Schweitzer exclusively represents the interests of victims of serious accidents, and is not beholden to any corporation or insurance company. Thus, it is able to completely focus on representing those who have been seriously injured.
Paul T. Hofmann, Esq. has more than 29 years of seasoned trial litigation experience, and has been a driving force in developing new and better ways to successfully represent the interests of his clients. Mr. Hofmann and his firm has handled many major lawsuits to successful conclusion, including numerous million dollar verdicts and settlements. (See Verdicts-Settlements-News).
Tim Schweitzer has over a decade legal experience added to his more than a decade of hands-on experience in the construction industry, doing excavation, pile driving, form work, dock building and other heavy construction labor. As hard-working as he was on the job-site he is now in the courtroom. Tim also is an officer in the Admiralty Law Section of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), one of the preeminent organizations fighting for victims' rights and educating specialists who practice maritime law.
Paul Hofmann has been requested to edit and comment upon a White Paper(Authoritative Descriptive Analysis) concerning the legal and environmental consequences of the BP Oil Spill.
In April 2010 Paul Hofmann was appointed Secretary to the Marine Torts and Casualty Committee for the MLA(Maritime Law Association of the United States)
The extent of our firms experience and knowledge is exemplified in the myriad of cases we have handled which have resulted in reported decisions. Below is a non-exclusive list of many of the major cases we have handled which resulted in reported decisions. These decisions show the nature of the the diversity of maritime law, construction law and personal injury litigation topics with which we have developed expertise.
Deisler v. McCormack Aggregates, Co., 54 F.3d 1074, 1087 (3rd Cir. 1995) (decision upholding awards of maintenance and cure, compensatory damages and attorneys fees).
Brogan v. United New York Sandy Hook Pilots' Association, Inc., 213 F.Supp.2d 432 (D.N.J. 2002) (upholding award to pilot injured during boarding procedure).
Abbud v. City of New York, 1997 WL 633463 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) affd 159 F.3d 1345 (1998) (regarding interplay of maritime and New York Labor Law)
Olsen v. James Miller Marine Service, Inc., 791 N.Y.S.2d 92 (1st Dept. 2005) (injured dockbuilder who fell through hole on a barge entitled to assert cause of action under Labor Law § § 240 and 241, along with cause of action against the vessel owner for 905(b) negligence)
Cammon v. City of New York, 95 N.Y.2d 583 (2000) rehearing denied, 96 N.Y.2d 793 (Ct. App. 2001) (seminal case from New York Court of Appeals finding maritime construction workers covered by LHWCA may assert causes of action against landowners under New York Labor Law)
Eriksen v. Long Island Lighting Co., 236 A.D.2d 439 (2d Dept. 1997) (Precursor to Cammon obtained in Appellate Division, upon which Cammon analysis was built.)
Becker v. Poling Transportation Corp., 356 F.3d 381 (2d Cir. 2004) (Applying novel Restatement of Torts provisions to claim of seaman badly burned in a barge explosion)
Garner v. Energy Transportation Corporation,1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 15368 (2d Cir. 1996) (seaman’s personal injury claim wherein defendant’s counsel challenged every aspect of
Marcic v. Reinauer Transportation , 397 F.3d 120 (2d Cir. 2005) (decision regarding whether a seaman’s contract setting a minimum of $15/day permits the seaman to prove in court a higher amount, as a matter of contract interpretation)
Dahingo v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., 312 F.Supp. 2d 440 (S.D.N.Y. 2004). (Class action decision under Seaman’s Wage Act holding that late filed claims appropriately rejected, but that timely, unsigned claims can be signed and resubmitted)
Wesley v. City of New York, 2010 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6815 (1st Dept. 2010) Seaman ferry worker injured through unseaworthy chainfall system. One of handful of decisions finding that unseaworthiness can be determined in plaintiff’s favor on motion for summary judgment)
Razo v. Nordic Empress Shipping, Inc. 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 23713 (3d Cir. 2009), (affirming Razo v. Nordic Empress Shipping, Inc., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57618 (D.N.J. 2008)). (Filipino seaman sued vessel owner, Nordic Empress Shipping, Inc. and his separate employer, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. for injuries resulting from a defective lifeboat which fell some 60 feet to the water below with him and several other crewmembers in it. The court held that seaman’s arbitration clause with employer did not apply to separate subsidiary shipowner)
Harrison v. State of New York, 88 A.D.3d 951 (2d Dept. 2011). (Did fall of a 150-200 pound generator from edge of wall along pier unto a tugboat properly invoke protections of New York Labor Law § 240)
Lee v. Astoria Generating Co., L.P., 55 A.D.3d 124 (1st Dept. 2010) reversed by Lee v. Astoria Generating Co., L.P., 13 N.Y.3d 382, cert. denied --- U.S. ----, 131 S.Ct. 215 (2011) (whether a barge nearly permanently affixed to the land, used as a power plant, and not having been moved in past decade constitutes a vessel in navigation)
Aragona v. State of New York, 74 A.D.3d 1260 (2d Dept. 2010) (reversing summary judgment for defendant and applying certain provisions of the New York Industrial Code in construction workers’ injury claim in bridge construction project)
Rodriquez-Alvarez v. Bermuda Star Lines, 898 F.2d 312 (2d Cir. 1990)(seaman entitled to actual costs of food and lodging for maintenance rate, attorneys fee awardable for failure to provide proper maintenance and cure) Alvarez-Rodriquez
Aggarao v. MOL Ship Management, Inc., 675 F.3d 355 (4th Cir. 2012) (Filipino seafarer rendered paraplegic on ship in U.S. harbor not entitled to sue in the United States due to arbitration clause incorporated in his contract)
Olsen v. Reinauer Transportation Companies, L.P., 300 A.D.2d 76 (1st Dept. 2002) (holding that Shipowner’s Limitation of Liability Act cannot be raised as a defense in state court as there is no admiralty jurisdiction)
Angeles v. Norwegian Cruise Lines, Inc., 2002 WL 1997898 (S.D.N.Y., 2002) (holding that seafarer’s contract alleged arbitration clause not enforceable if no proof that seafarer signed agreement)
Guenther v. Sedco, Inc., 1998 WL 898349 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) (Denying defendants motion to dismss seafarers class action under Seaman’s Wage Act)
Calcaterra v. City of New York, 45 A.D.3d 270 (1st Dept. 2007) (construction worker generally assigned to work barge could be considered a seaman for Jones Act purposes)
Coppinger v. Metro-North Commuter Railroad, 861 F.2d 33 (2d Cir. 1988) (Railroad worker’s civil rights action not preempted by Railway Labor Act)