Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Admiralty Case

Wednesday, February 25, 2004
The U.S. Supreme Court issued an Order granting certiorari in the case of Stewart v. Dutra Construction Company. It also granted motions by the San Francisco Maritime Law Journal and the Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO to file briefs as amicus curiae. Plaintiff engineer was injured in a collision between a dredge and a scow. Since the primary purpose of the dredge was for construction work rather than transport, the lower court held that the dredge was not a vessel in navigation and plaintiff was not a seaman for purposes of the Jones Act. The question presented in this case is what is the legal standard for determining whether a special purpose watercraft (such as a dredge) is a Jones Act “vessel”? Stewart v. Dutra Construction Company, Inc., 230 F.2d 461 (1st Cir., 2000). (HK Law)

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