Malish Obtains Not Guilty Verdict in Criminal Maritime Case
Jedd Malish tried a criminal case in which a client was charged with reckless operation of a vessel. At night, the client’s vessel allided with a private aid to navigation owned by a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana, which resulted in the death of one of the passengers onboard.
At trial, we presented evidence that at the time of the allision, the private aid to navigation was not illuminated as required. We also presented evidence that the pilings in this navigable waterway were not installed in the locations approved by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Rather, these pilings were installed over 1,500’ away from their permitted locations. Thus, the permitted locations of these pilings, as opposed to their actual locations, were put onto the NOAA charts of the area on the GPS used by our client to navigate that night. We also presented evidence that our client had posted two lookouts on the port and starboard bow of the vessel and that he was not operating the vessel at an excessive rate of speed as charged. The judge returned a not guilty verdict on the reckless operation charge.