Ruling on Permanently Moored Dockside Casino

Thursday, April 15, 2004
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 thus not a vessel in navigation under the Jones Act. Personal injury claims asserted by employees under the Jones Act were therefore dismissed. Howard v. Southern Illinois Riverboat Casino Cruises, Inc., No. 02-3818 (7th Cir.)(HK Law)

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