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Nate Dugan was off-duty and in the galley of his Mississippi River vessel when it was struck by another vessel hauling 40 barges. 

Nate’s boat sank immediately, taking the lives of his three other crewmates. 

The resulting injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder made it impossible for Nate to return to offshore work.

He hired George Vourvoulias, founder and lead attorney of the New Orleans-based Maritime Injury Law Firm, to help him put the pieces of his life back together.


“If you need a maritime injury lawyer who knows his stuff, call George Vourvoulias. He’ll protect you and your family and make sure you’re taken care of when things go wrong.” – Nate Dugan

Nate’s Tragic Gulf Coast Story

Nate heard the general alarm, reached for his PFD, but was thrown backwards, into the bulkhead, by the impact of the collision before he could reach it.

The vessel he was working on immediately listed to starboard after being struck by another vessel hauling 40 barges. Then it began to sink. 

With water at chin-level, Nate saw that the port door of the galley had popped-open due to the impact of the collision. He swam for it and, as he did, he saw his crew mate attempt to descend the stairs into the galley and then turn around and go upstairs and away from the rising waters. 

It was the last time Nate saw his friend. 

Nate reached the door, pushed his way through the opening and jumped into the fast-moving river just as his boat went down and sank below the water. He found himself hurtling down river amidst debris and 40 loose barges.

After nearly drowning, Nate surfaced among ship debris and 40 loose barges. He saw a wire hanging from the barge, grabbed it, pulled himself just out of the water and held on. 

After yelling for help for 30 minutes, Nate was finally rescued.

A Louisiana maritime injury case

Needless to say, Nate was physically and emotionally traumatized by the experience. 

In addition to a serious head injury, Nate also suffered a knee injury that required surgery. Furthermore, he was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder which prevents him from working in the offshore profession he previously enjoyed.

Following the accident, Nate sought compensation for his injuries, pain and suffering, and loss of livelihood. Initially, his employer was supportive of Nate and his situation, but after it became apparent that he wouldn’t be satisfied with a meager payoff, the company took a more hostile position.

Nate hired George Vourvoulias of the Maritime Injury Law Firm

Upon realizing the opposition of his employer and the other boat owners, Nate hired George Vourvoulias of the Maritime Injury Law Firm to represent him. After a highly contested negotiation, Nate’s employer agreed to pay his full salary rather than merely maintenance. 

The powerful and wealthy boat companies and their insurers did their best to deny liability for the circumstances that led to Nate’s physical and psychological injuries. They even went so far as to blame Nate’s crew for the accident.

However, George Vourvoulias made it abundantly clear to all of the involved parties that liability rested with the boat owners. After the ship owners filed petitions in limitation, Vourvoulias filed three claims for recovery, followed by three lawsuits. 

George then went to work on lining-up the proper experts to assist in proving Nates’s case before a jury.-

This convinced them to agree to a settlement that would take care of Nate and his family for the rest of his life.

Today, Nate is very happy and much more at ease. He has been able to pay off his house, buy a new car, invest his money, and set up a college fund for his kids.

Why the Maritime Injury Law Firm Is Right for Your Case

If you have a dispute with your employer, an insurer or a government agency about an accident that occurs offshore, then you need someone who knows more than just the legal statutes—you need someone like George Vourvoulias to be fully committed to your cause.

After getting his law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1998, George got a Masters Degree in Admiralty and Maritime Law from Tulane University the very next year. 

Over the years, George Vourvoulias has helped many offshore workers and their families recover from devastating injuries by getting them the multi-million dollar compensation packages that they deserve.

Hire a Louisiana maritime lawyer today

George and his New Orleans-based team are eager to champion the cause of the little guy against even the largest and well-financed companies. Contact The Maritime Injury Law Firm to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your offshore injury.

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