Jones Act--Same Negligence Standard

Thursday, January 11, 2007
In a case brought under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the negligence standard must be the same for the injured employee and the employer. In that case, an injured railroad worker filed an action under the FELA against his employer in Missouri. Under Missouri practice, the employer could be found liable if the injuries were caused in whole or in part by the employer's negligence. On the other hand, the employee's damage award was only reduced if the employee's negligence directly contributed to the injury. The Supreme Court ruled that the standard applied to the employer for negligence and to the employee for contributory negligence must be the same. This decision is important to the maritime industry because the Jones Act used in seamen personal injury cases specifically incorporates the FELA standard. Source: HK Law

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