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
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 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
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 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 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
A campaign pledge of support for the Jones Act has earned President Barack Obama the cover spot on the 2008 Annual Report of the Maritime Cabotage Task Force, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition promoting the domestic U.S.- Flag fleet. In August 2008, then candidate Obama declared “America needs a strong and vibrant U.S.-flag Merchant Marine … That is why you … can continue to count on me to support the Jones Act….”
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
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.
Philly Shipyard, a U.S. commercial shipyard constructing vessels for operation in the Jones Act market has announced acash dividend to be paid by PHLY. The schedule is as follows: Dividend amount: USD 0.25 per share Declared currency: USD
Crowley Maritime Corp. took delivery Friday of MT West Virginia, the fourth new Jones Act product tanker built for the company by Philly Shipyard, Inc. (PSI). Crowley will christen the West Virginia on Tuesday at a ceremony at Philly Shipyard.
Built at BAE Systems’ Jacksonville, Fla. shipyard, the new tug Sea Power has delivered the tug Sea Power to Seabulk Tankers, Inc. to be used to enhance the shipper’s Jones Act coastal operation, powering barges that transport chemical and petroleum products between U.S. ports.
The Right Stuff: Innovation, Customer Service, Crew Welfare The hallmarks of a successful vessel operator are the same whether they are carrying liquid, physical or human cargo: A laser focus on safety, a twin commitment to customers and crew
Crowley takes delivery of Louisiana, third Jones Act tanker with LNG capability Crowley Maritime Corp. has taken delivery of Louisiana, the third of four new, Jones Act product tankers being built for the company by Philly Shipyard, Inc
American Tugboat, Towboat and Barge Industry Urged Support for American Jobs, Vessel Discharge Reform, and Waterways Infrastructure. Members of the American Waterways Operators, the national trade association representing the tugboat, towboat and barge industry
On Saturday, April 23, General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a christening ceremony for the second Jones Act ECO Class tanker for American Petroleum Tankers (APT) under construction at the company's shipyard in San Diego. U.S. Representative Scott Peters spoke at the ceremony
As U.S. lawmakers address means to stabilize Puerto Rico’s economy, Crowley Maritime Corporation’s senior vice president and general counsel, Michael Roberts, was called upon to offer recommendations for supporting the island’s economy and strengthening the U.S
Crowley Maritime Corp. announced it will hold a christening ceremony Thursday, May 5 in New Orleans for the newly built Louisiana, the company’s third of four new Jones Act product tankers. The 600-foot-long, 50,000-dead-weight-ton (dwt), 330
On Thursday, April 28, 2016, General Dynamics NASSCO delivered the first ship in a series of three ECO Class tankers currently under construction for SEA-Vista LLC. The newly-built Independence is a 610-foot, 50,000 deadweight-ton, LNG-conversion-ready product tanker with a 330
St. Louis-based Byrne & Jones Construction informs it has acquired Midwest Foundation, a Peoria, Ill. marine construction services company. Midwest Foundation installs piling foundations and serves the bridge construction industry including demolition, construction and repair
U.S. shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO launched and christened Garden State, another ECO Class tanker due to join the Jones Act fleet. Launched and christened on Saturday, May 7, the new ship, will join the ranks as one of the most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly product
On Thursday, May 19, shipbuilders at General Dynamics NASSCO delivered the Magnolia State to longtime customer American Petroleum Tankers (APT). The ECO Class tanker is one of the most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly tankers in the world and symbolizes the emerging future of green
U.S. shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a keel laying ceremony on Thursday, May 26 for the Liberty, one of three new ECO Class Jones Act tankers under a construction contract with SEA-Vista LLC, a partnership between SEACOR Holdings, Inc. and Avista Capital Partners.
The Future of Shortsea Shipping and Domestic ‘Markets’ Arriving at the Farmer’s Market this morning I made the decision to grill some hand cut rib eye with fresh vegetables and potatoes later that evening. I searched several of the local farm kiosks to find the mix I