Marine Link
Friday, December 9, 2016

Plaintiffs Cannot Be Seamen When Not Sail in Navigable Waters

August 12, 2002

In Solomon v. Blue Chip Casino, Inc., 2002 WL 1763935 (Ind.App. July 31, 2002), the court found the casino boat worker plaintiffs (a slot representative and a table games specialist) could not pursue Jones Act seaman claims against the vessel owner when the section of Trail Creek upon which the casino boat is moored in not "navigable in fact." The boat was situated in a "small, man-made, rectangular area of water that was dug out of dry land connected to Trail Creek by a narrow and shallow opening." The court found that while shallower draft recreational vessels may be able to, a commercial vessel such as the casino boat could not transit this two and a half feet deep section of Trail Creek out to Lake Michigan. The court also found that even though the Coast Guard had regulatory jurisdiction over the casino boat, since the Coast Guard's jurisdictional regulation was worded in broader terms than the "navigable in fact" requirement for admiralty jurisdiction, this was not sufficient to establish admiralty jurisdiction, and thus the plaintiffs could not be Jones Act seamen. Finally, the court held that the Indiana gaming statute's definition of navigable waters was also different than the more restrictive definition controlling admiralty jurisdiction. Source: Marine Legal Update


 
Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Nov 2016 - Workboat Edition

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News