The relevant federal statutes give the crew the right to sue for penalty wages, plus attorneys fees. A judge is authorized to order up to triple damages, plus attorney’s fees, but there is no guarantee that the judge will actually order the company to pay that amount.
Connecticut may have a state statute that also gives an employee the right to sue for penalty wages and attorney fees, but I’m not familiar with Connecticut law.
If Transatlantic files for bankruptcy, the crew might not be entitled to penalty wages under bankruptcy law because the penalty wages would be paid from money that is subject to the conflicting claims of other creditors.
Let’s face it, the type of guys who were working for Transatlantic and remaining on the ships without pay for months, are not smart enough, persistent enough, and don’t have cash enough, to pursue a lawsuit for penalty wages.