Robert M. Kraft, Attorney
Robert M. Kraft has practiced maritime personal injury and wrongful death law since 1980. He has represented injured fishermen, processors, tug and barge workers, Washington State Ferry employees, blue water seamen, and cruise ship passengers. His practice also includes representing victims of serious automobile, trucking and motorcycle injuries, injuries and death involving dangerous and defective products, cases against railroads involving railroad-motor vehicle collisions, and cases involving serious injuries resulting from dangerous premises conditions.
Reported cases Rob has been involved in include Bartholomew v Crowley Marine Services Inc., 337 F.3d 1083, 2003 A.M.C. 1919 (9th Cir 2003), where the Ninth Circuit ruled that tug crewmembers who participated in a rescue operation of one of their employer's own vessels were entitled to a salvage award against the employer/vessel owner. In Sugden v Puget Sound Tug and Barge Co., 796 F.Supp 455 (W.D. Wa 1992) the District Court held in a seaman's wrongful death case that the decedent's estate could recover non-pecuniary damages, including loss of society, against a non-Jones Act third-party shipyard. In Lipscomb v. Foss Maritime Company, 83 F.3d 1196 (9th Cir 1996), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that tugboat employees were entitled to recover accumulated time off payments as a part of unearned wages (despite the fact that none of the local tug companies had historically ever made such payments).
In January 2006, Rob won a $300,000 verdict for a Crowley tankerman who was injured while attempting to transfer 3 to 4 feet from a dock ladder to a barge. In March 2006, he won a $295,226 verdict against the State of Washington on behalf of a concessions worker aboard the Washington State Ferries who injured her back while attempting to open a beer keg tap that was frozen stuck. In February 2008, he won a $1,107,509 verdict against the State of Washington on behalf of three Washington State Ferry workers who suffered occupational asthma as a result of an exposure to toxic chlorine gas.