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 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 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
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
Preparation, Preservation of Resources Sets the Table for a Successful Trial Verdict Even the safest, most careful marine operator will, at some point in time, have an accident aboard one of their vessels. And, despite the best of intentions, sometimes employees gets hurt
Representatives from U.S.-flag maritime labor and industry work the halls of Capitol Hill together to promote their cause. The delegation came to promote various issues affecting those who work, sail, build and operate American vessels as well as nation’s harbors, ports and waterways.
The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) announced the election of Thomas Allegretti as its new Chairman. Allegretti is President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators. He succeeds James Henry, Chairman and President of the Transportation Institute
Jones Act and LHWCA employers must protect Medicare’s interest or pay the price. It may be boring, but it is important. Read and heed. Attention maritime entities that employ Jones Act Seamen covered by liability insurance, including self-insurance
The Port of Cleveland is a particularly welcoming destination for foreign crews, enhanced by the Cleveland Seaman's Service. In his CEO's port stakeholders' letter, Will Friedman draws attention to the organization, now almost half-a-century old
ISS Greece is advising that sailors associated with Greece’s Panhellenic Seamen's Union (PNO) are likely to strike 3rd April 2013. The strike is set to commence at 06:00 local time, 3, April and last until 06:00 on 04 April. The PNO has warned that the labour action is likely to be the
Crowley is a member of The Puerto Rico Maritime Alliance, which consists of representatives of U.S. flag carriers and labor unions constituting the US Merchant Marine. The Maritime Alliance of Puerto Rico (AMPR) has announced that the GAO Study released yesterday determined the Jones
American Maritime Partnership (AMP) member, Crowley Maritime Corp. distributes the following announcement: The long-awaited General Accountability Office (GAO) study on the Jones Act in Puerto Rico shows that the U.S. domestic container shipping fleet has provided regular
AdvanFort added a new ocean platform, the SG Arizona, to complete its pre-deployed offshore support vessel (OSV) network in the piracy High Risk Area (HRA) in and around the Gulf of Aden. “Named after the last of this country’s 48 contiguous states
Crowley Maritime Corp. President, Chairman and CEO Tom Crowley became an honorary alumnus of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) during a banquet recently held in his honor. The USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation, along with its affiliated Jacksonville Chapter
George M. Jones joins Los Angeles Maritime Law offices of Charles D. Naylor. An experienced trial attorney, Mr. Jones brings to the firm more than 20 years of maritime law experience. “I’ve known George for almost 20 years, and amongst fellow maritime lawyers
New Orleans headquartered Harvey Gulf International Marine, LLC is pleased to announce that Mike Carroll will be joining the organization in March in the position of Sr. Vice President of New Construction and Special Projects based in Houston, Texas.
Each year, the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) celebrates excellence in naval engineering by recognizing individuals who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in one or more facets of the industry. ASNE is pleased to announce the recipients of the following prestigious awards:
VT Halter Marine, Inc., Pascagoula, Miss., announced a new contract to build an Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) unit with an option unit for Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. (Bouchard). The barge will measure 625 x 91 x47 ft., has a 250,000-barrel capacity
Experienced Marine Industry Executive to Lead Worldwide Management of Sales, Marketing, Strategic Business Development and Channel Partnerships. Applied Weather Technology, Inc. (AWT), is pleased to announce the appointment of Haydn Jones as the company's Director of International