Jones Act Seaman May Not Recover Nonpecuniary Damages from Third Party

Tuesday, November 23, 2004
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a Jones Act seaman or his survivors cannot recover nonpecuniary damages from a non-employer third party. In the instant case, a seaman contracted (and eventually died from) silicosis while working as a sandblaster maintaining protective coatings on offshore oil platforms. Plaintiff seaman worked on vessels owned by defendant shipowner and wore allegedly defective hoods manufactured by defendant shoreside companies. The trial court held that plaintiff seaman (and then his survivors) were not entitled to recover nonpecuniary damages in the wrongful death suit against the shoreside manufacturers. Plaintiff survivors appealed. The appellate court held that a Jones Act seaman is not entitled to recover nonpecuniary damages in a general maritime action and that the uniformity principle dictates the same result in this situation. Scarborough v. Clemco Industries , No. 03-30985 (5th Cir., November 18, 2004). Source: HK Law
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