Our client, a United States Air Force Veteran, worked as a marine diesel engineer for the same employer for 25 years. As a marine diesel engineer, our client worked 50 weeks a year for five or more days a week and for eight or more hours a day. Most of his work time was spent attending to diesel engines in the engine rooms below deck.

His Diesel Exposure Caused His Pulmonary Disease

During his significant time below deck, our client was exposed to diesel exhaust and vaporized and pyrolyzed diesel fuel. As a result, he developed bronchiolitis obliterans. Bronchiolitis obliterans is a fibrotic lung disease that occurs when inflammation obstructs the smallest airways of the lungs (the bronchioles). Currently, there is no cure for bronchiolitis obliterans, and the necessary salvage treatment is a bilateral lung transplant.

How We Fought for Our Client’s Future

Our client was only 58 years old when he was diagnosed with pulmonary disease. He is a father of two. Our experienced maritime lawyers fought hard to resolve our client’s case so that he could afford the medical treatment he needed and so that his family could be financially secure.

His maritime employer did not see things the same way. The employer argued that his lung disease was not related to his exposure to toxic diesel fuel and exhaust fumes, but that it was instead caused by his underlying inflammatory bowel disease.

The maritime injury attorneys of Hofmann & Schweitzer filed a lawsuit pursuant to the Jones Act and general maritime law. We assembled a team of expert witnesses that included, but was not limited to a(n):

  • Naval architect
  • Mechanical engineering expert
  • Epidemiologist
  • Pulmonologist
  • Toxicologist
  • Economist

Together, these experts and our skilled attorneys established liability and the fair value of our client’s damages.

Before trial, Attorney Paul Hofmann represented our client at mediation where he was able to settle his claim for a substantial amount of money. The amount of the settlement is confidential, but our client now has the funds he needs to take care of his health and his family without further delay.

Maritime workers who suffer work-related illnesses deserve to make fair recoveries. If you have gotten sick because of exposure to toxic substances on your vessel or in the course of your maritime employment, then we invite you to contact the legal team at Hofmann & Schweitzer for a free consultation. We would be happy to evaluate your claim and advise you on your legal options. Please call us or reach out to us via this website today to learn more.


Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.

DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients' cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client's case.