Whistleblower Awards

Maritime Pollution Whistleblower Awards​

Doyle Dennis Avery LLP represents maritime workers who have reported violations of the MARPOL Protocol and other federal laws and treaties regarding maritime pollution. ARPOL – also knowns as the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships – is an international convention established to reduce and stop of pollution of the seas 

What areas are subject to whistleblower awards?

Federal law authorizes whistleblowers to make reports about potential maritime pollution violations, as established in 33 U.S. Code § 1908.  This includes:

  • Violating the MARPOL Protocol, Annex IV to the Antarctic Protocol, this chapter, or the regulations issued thereunder; or
  • Making a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in any matter in which a statement or representation is required to be made to the Secretary, or the Administrator as provided for in this chapter, under the MARPOL Protocol;

In addition, under federal law, “each day of a continuing violation shall constitute a separate violation,” meaning every additional day of violations would provide a new penalty. These violations may include, violations regarding the discharge of Oil, noxious liquid substance, sewage, and disposal of garbage.  Some common violations may also include use of a so-called magic pipe and oil record/log book violations.

How do I make a report?

          Complaints or reports of violations of MARPOL must be made to the U.S. Coast Guard. There is no specific form or guideline for filing reports.

What damages are available?

Whistleblower who provides a tip under 33 U.S. Code § 1908, may be entitled to an award, which can be an amount up to equal to a maximum of half of such penalties paid for the violations

What other laws may apply?

A whistleblower who works on a vessel who makes a report related to violations of 33 U.S. Code § 1908, may also be protected from retaliation under the Seaman Protection Act, if an employer or vessel owner takes retaliatory action against the whistleblower.

Should I hire an attorney?

Filing a whistleblower claim can involve complicated legal issues that may require assistance from counsel. Doyle Dennis Avery LLP has been ranked by U.S. News as one of the best Admiralty & Maritime Law firms in the nation and in the state of Texas. Mike Doyle is a past chair of the American Association of Justice, Admiralty Section, and Jeff Avery is currently the Vice-Chair. At the start of 2022, Doyle Dennis Avery LLP secured a $7.8 million verdict on behalf of a seaman in the case Gillies v. Valaris PLC.  Doyle Dennis Avery LLPhas also obtained other important verdicts in favor of seaman, including the following maritime verdicts:

  • $2.14 Million in Pike v. SeaRiver Maritime, Inc.;
  • $1.75 Million in Roberts v. Rigdon Marine;
  • $1.6 Million in Burch v. Westerngeco Resources (Schlumberger);
  • $4.5 Million in Norfleet v. Chemikalien Seetransport and Heidenreich Marine; and
  • $1.22 Million in Hamilton v. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company.

If you are a maritime worker and are seeking representation regarding a maritime pollution whistleblower award, contact the admiralty attorneys at Doyle Dennis Avery LLP.