Turkish Crew Injuries Brief - October 2012

Briefing on general framework and current practices in settlement of crew injury cases in Turkey.

This is to present a brief on the general framework and parameters affecting the settlement of crew injury cases in Turkey.

Turkish ITF standard contract provides minimum amount for disability compensation rather than set or maximum compensation amounts. The amount due is therefore open to interpretations.

The owners’ right to have their own assessment of crewmember’s disability may not be respected and local ITF does not provide any support to facilitate a fair, or the least by contract, performance on behalf of the crewmember.

Non ITF contracts may or not have any provisions of actual amounts due in relation to disability and/or death.

So called court experts are customarily contacted by both owners and crewmembers to provide estimates on amounts due. They are likely to consider career advancement and higher wages over time for disability of younger crew who had been permanently injured.

Local ITF officers have been seen to take their position to degrees of extreme whereby instead of securing respect of crewmembers rights, they parade yearly statistics of number of cases and figures achieved, and encourage crewmembers to threaten to sue on the security that they will be provided for a minimal maintenance/salary if their case goes to court and for the duration of the procedures. In a recent case in Turkey, an injured crewmember claimed (based on a consulting court expert’s advice), close to USD600,000 for a disability of 25% resulting from the immovability of his little and ring fingers.  Under the Turkish ITF, he should have received approx USD30,000 corresponding to these 25%. To be noted that the percentage of disability was made by a doctor of crewmember’s own choice at a hospital in a small Turkish town. Owners’ right to own assessment was impossible to enforce despite repeated invitations to all - crewmember, appointed lawyer and ITF representative - who had already been involved. Case settled at something above USD300,000.

It would therefore appear best practice if all injury cases which are assessed from the time of repatriation to need more than 1 month for recovery and/or necessitating a surgery be referred to correspondents earlier so that choice can be had over the nominated doctors and clinics, expenses can be monitored and overall outcome be influenced.

Kalimbassieris Maritime Ltd.

Orhantepe Mah. Mine Sok. No.2 Dragos,
Kartal, 34865 Istanbul, Turkey

Tel:    (+90) 216 457 56 00
Fax:   (+90) 216 457 56 01
Email: istanbul@kalimbassieris.com
Web:  www.kalimbassieris.com