Gallipolis is a village situated on the Ohio River. It is the county seat of Gallia County, Ohio. Gallipolis is home to approximately 4,200 people and is the second largest population center in the area. The Ohio River has been at the core of Gallipolis’ daily life for hundreds of years. The area was settled by French citizens hoping to escape the French Revolution. Those able to leave were looking for a peaceful area with rich soil to begin new lives. Unfortunately they were taken advantage of when they were sold claims to land that the seller did not own. The immigrants sought help from George Washington and the United States Congress which sent builders to develop a settlement. In 1803 the Ohio State Legislature established Gallia County and Gallipolis (“City of the Gauls”), named for the original 500 French settlers who arrived in 1790. Later immigration brought a large population of British citizens to the area. The British early on brought their rich history of maritime employment to Gallipolis. The Ohio River and Kanawha River have been the engines driving business and industry in the Gallipolis area for many years. Many of the leading river companies in the region have pulled from Gallipolis’ highly trained river workforce to crew vessels and develop river landings.
Companies such as O-KAN Marine Repair perform highly skilled and technical repairs on tow boats and barges. Workers who are assigned to perform construction, repair and maintenance are faced with dangerous work conditions on a daily basis. Even when a worker is careful injuries occur. If a river or dock worker is injured, it is important that medical care be selected based upon the quality of the health care rather than the bottom line interests of the employer and their insurance carrier. The area is blessed with excellent medical facilities such as the Holzer Health System. That said, the injured river worker, not the employer or their insurance adjustor, should select the treating physician.
A dock worker who is injured within the scope of his/her employment may be covered by the Longshore Act. (A detailed analysis of a workers’ job duties is required to make a final determination of what compensation system applies.) Injured Longshore workers are entitled to a free choice physician. However, once the injured worker makes the free choice selection, a change can be made only with the permission of the Employer or the United States Department of Labor. River employers have been known to guide injured workers to physicians likely to issue company friendly reports. The injured worker is best served by carefully selecting a physician most likely to provide the best medical care.
Having an experienced attorney such as Steven Schletker on your side to guide you through this process is of great benefit. Steven Schletker will work to make sure your rights are protected. Most injured workers are not looking for a free ride. They want to get the best medical care possible and return to work. If, however, a return to work is not medically possible, it is important to have an experienced maritime attorney such as Steven Schletker to fight for your rights. If you have been injured at work on the river, or on docks next to the river, call Steven Schletker at (800) 254-7487 for a free consultation.