Jones Act Seaman
By James P. Nader & Joseph A. Poblick Once again we take that familiar voyage know as "determining seaman status." No matter how familiar the voyage there are always changes in the currents which guide your path. Seaman status is important because only a seaman may receive maintenance and cure, and pursue a claim for Jones Act negligence or unseaworthiness. The basic requirements for seaman status are well established in maritime law. In order to qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act, a person's employment duties must contribute to the mission of the vessel and be connected to an identifiable group of vessels in navigation. The United States Supreme Court has held that seaman status should be determined by the specific facts of each case. The totality of the circumstances surrounding the employee's employment must be considered in determining whether his duties had sufficient relation to the mission of the vessel and exposure to the perils of the sea. Additionally, it is typically the jury who has the responsibility to determine seaman status, and only in rare circumstances is that responsibility left up to the judge. Because juries typically decide the question of seaman status, who qualifies, it is often difficult to predict. The "diver's exception" is an example of the expansion of workers that qualify for Jones Act status
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a ship owner may assert a negligence and indemnity claim against its seaman-employee for property damage allegedly caused by the seaman’s negligence. In the instant case, plaintiff mate was injured when his ship collided with another ship. Plaintiff was on watch and in command of the ship at the time and allegedly left the wheelhouse in congested waters to attend to personal business
Unfortunately, personal injury claims brought by seamen against vessel owners are part of everyday life in running a boat company. As such, vessel owners have become very sophisticated in the management of these claims. As the cost of litigating these matters is very high, often, the claim's handler will attempt to settle a seaman's personal injury claim prior to his retention of counsel and filing suit. In most cases, this is a win-win for both the employee and the company
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that, for purposes of the Jones Act, a permanently moored dockside casino is not a vessel in navigation and its employees are not seamen entitled to protection under the Act. In the instant case, the casino vessel was documented and inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard, but only got underway once each year for engine and maneuvering tests. The court held that the vessel was not engaged in the transportation of passengers or cargo and was
Over a vigorous dissent, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that a moored cleaning barge is a vessel for purposes of the Jones Act. In the instant case, plaintiff barge cleaner was injured while being ferried from shore to his work site on a moored cleaning barge. The barge was secured in position in the Missouri River by spud poles embedded in the river bottom. The barge was relocated on occasion by being towed
The news that the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Navy League support the Jones Act and oppose its repeal was applauded by Maritime Cabotage Task Force (MCTF), the national coalition representing the U.S.-flag fleet engaged in domestic waterborne commerce. Both organizations dedicated to the defense of the United States have reaffirmed their support for the law, which is directly responsible for half a million U.S. jobs and vital to national security.
The January 11, 2011 report from the non-partisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling confirmed the Jones Act did not prevent foreign vessels from assisting with the clean-up effort during the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year. “Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling” was prepared by the independent entity at the request of President Barack Obama.
The national trade association that is the voice for the U.S. flag workboat industry has taken the unusual step of hiring an experienced investigator to collect evidence on foreign vessels that violate the U.S. law known as the Jones Act. The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) has created a new position – Manager of Jones Act Compliance – to ensure compliance with the laws requiring that vessels involved in domestic transportation be owned by Americans
The Maritime Cabotage Task Force (MCTF) is thanking its retiring Chairman, Philip M. Grill, for his 14 years of leadership of the labor/management coalition that promotes the Jones Act and other U.S. maritime cabotage laws in Washington. Grill, who is retiring as Vice President – Government Relations for Matson Navigation Company, Inc., on July 31, has chaired MCTF since its founding in September 1995. Under his leadership
Efforts by U.S. officials and oil firms to waive Jones Act shipping requirements and increase available oil tankers to the Northeast are so far dead in the water, the U.S. Department of Transportation said. "No one has made a credible case in the Executive branch or Congress to grant waivers or eviscerate the Jones Act," John Graykowski, acting administrator of the Maritime Administration told Reuters. The Jones Act -- which is overseen by the Department of Transportation's Maritime
Ben Billings serves as President & CEO of the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA), a nationwide trade association headquartered in New Orleans that represents more than 200 member companies. OMSA’s membership includes approximately 100 firms operating more than 1
Crowley Maritime Corp. inform that its ocean class tugs have successfully delivered oversized, overweight equipment – comprised of topsides, tendons, piles and more – that are now part of a massive semi-submersible floating production facility located in the U.S
A new well-intentioned maritime fuel regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to crowd roads and increase onshore air pollution, maintain shipping industry leaders Rod Jones and Bill Terry, President and CEO of the CSL Group and of Eagle Rock Aggregates, respectively
The Maritime Labor Convention of 2006 became effective on 20 August 2013: Are the authorities ready? Consider that MLC 2006 Regulation 1.2-Medical certificate. Standard A1.2 states that “a competent authority shall require prior to beginning work on a ship
U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) released the following joint-statement regarding New Jersey’s shortage of rock salt: “We are pleased to hear that the first shipment of rock salt arrived at Port Newark last night
Safe water management onboard any ship is a challenge, a challenge magnified exponentially onboard the world’s largest cruise ships with thousands of passengers and crew in close quarters. Just last month it again made global headlines as Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of Seas was forced
NJDOT wants Jones Act Waiver. U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have jointly sent a letter to both U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx requesting that they continue to
Jones joins the Baltic Exchange from ICAP Shipping Singapore where he was director of sale & purchase. He will replace Philip Williams who retires from the role in April, and he will be based at the Exchange's Singapore office. Baltic Exchange Chief Executive Jeremy Penn said:
Sustaining the ongoing boatbuilding boom can involve the lawful use of foreign finance streams. James Kearns takes a closer look at the practice. The citizenship requirements for vessels engaged in the U.S. coastwise trade are generally well-known
A court in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin city has granted bail to all 35 crew members arrested from the US-owned Sierra Leone-flagged private maritime security vessel 'Seaman Guard Ohio' detained since October 2013, reports the Business Standard (India).
Kinder Morgan Announces Acquisition of Jones Act Shipping Tankers in U.S. for Approximately $962 Million. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire American Petroleum Tankers (APT) and State Class Tankers (SCT) from
ExxonMobil Corp has agreed to renew its charter agreement for the 337,000-barrel 'Overseas Cascade' at an unprecedented $110,000 a day, nearly a 50 percent increase from its previous rate for the same ship this summer, reports Reuters, citing shipping sources.
The Madurai bench of Madras high court has dismissed the bail plea of the 35-member crew of the US-based anti-piracy ship 'M V Seaman Guard Ohio', which has been detaind by Tamu Nadu police since the vessel was arrested in October 2013, reports 'The Times of India'.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) requires that all vessels navigating in Panama Canal waters comply with the manning requirements in order to guarantee a safe and expeditious transit or docking maneuver at the ports located at both ends of the Canal.
Commitment Class Jones-Act Ships to Offer Lower Emissions; Increased Speed, Reliability and Capacity, and Optimized Vehicle Shipping Decks. The next chapter in Crowley’s storied history of shipping and logistics services between the United States mainland and Puerto Rico will be written