Unseaworthiness: This cause of action is based upon vessel owner’s implied warranty that
a vessel is reasonably fit for its intended use. See  Commercial Mariners .

Product Liability: If someone is injured as a result of a defective product, recovery would be
based upon product liability theory. See Commercial Mariners .

If you were injured in the course of a commercial vessel or recreational boating accident,
call for a free and confidential consultation. If I am able to handle your injury case, there is
no fee unless I am successful.




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© February 2005 by Tim Akpinar - All Rights
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Maritime Law
Ocean Mariners - Commercial Fishermen - Tugboats - Sailboats - Yacht Crews - Riverboats - Divers - Jones Act
The maritime law that deals with commercial
vessels affects seamen, which includes  tugboat
riverboat barge crews, paid yacht crews, jack-up oil
rig crews, commercial divers, crews of deep sea
ocean going cargo ships, passenger ships, offshore
vessels and other seagoing employees. It also
includes ferry boat, excursion, and tour boat crews,
water taxis and other marine employees.
Recreational Boating Accidents covers claimants
injured on or by motorboats, sailboats, jet-skis,
waverunners and other personal watercraft,
windsurfers, kayaks, canoes, as owners, guests,
unpaid race crews, recreational divers, or
swimmers.
Commercial Divers, Longshoremen and
Shipyard Workers covers commercial divers,
longshoremen, mechanics, welders, harbor
welders, harbor pilots, and shore side employees. It
also could include hard hat, oil field and salvage
(commercial) diving claims not covered under the
Jones Act.

General Overview of Claimants in Marine Injury Cases
If you were injured at sea, it’s likely that maritime
law will enter the picture. Your status aboard a
vessel will determine applicable law, depending on
whether you were a towboat engineer, tankerman,
commercial fishing boat mate, shore side welder,
passenger, commercial diver, or kayaker. Boating
accidents on navigable waters often involve
maritime law.

Jones Act: The Jones Act covers seamen injured as
a result of the employer’s negligence. Seaman
loosely means crew member. See Commercial
Vessels
. Seaman could be a tugboat deckhand,
dinner cruise boat mate, commercial fisherman,
tanker captain, cruise ship steward, or megayacht
engineer.

Recreational Boating Accidents: If someone is
injured in a pleasure boat accident, the action could
be based upon negligence. See Recreational
Boating Accidents
.

Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Compensation
Act: The LHWCA covers compensation and liability
for employees injured in the course of maritime
employment who are not seamen. Covered persons
include welders, mechanics, stevedores, harbor
pilots and non-seaman divers. See
Commercial
Divers, Longshoremen and Shipyard Workers . This
page has links to the Defense Base Act and War
Hazards Compensation Act. These apply to an
employee injured on a military base or combat area
or war zone.
One of the oddest quirks of maritime law that an experienced maritime attorney might come
up against is limitation of liability. The City of New York played hardball with the plaintiffs in
the Staten Island Ferry accident of October 2003, playing the limitation card in an attempt to
limit personal injury and wrongful death awards. It wasn't successful though, largely due to
conclusions made by the National Transportation Safety Administraton. Tim covered this
arcane concept for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, featured in the February 2006
issue of their journal,
Trial Magazine. Follow the link below to learn more and read the article
in its entirety. (reprinted with the permission of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.
Before a Staten Island Ferry
struck a pier on October 15,
2003, killing 11 people and
the passengers were unaware
of an arcane concept of
maritime law known as
limitation of liability. They soon
saw how a law meant to
protect shipowners during the
age of sail was invoked to
prevent them from achieving a
full and fair recovery for their
losses.

Under the Limitation of
Shipowners’ Liability Act of
1851, a shipowner may limit
liability for losses from
negligence or unseaworthiness
arising..."
       Read more.

Click  
Deafeating Limitation of
Liability in Maritime Law, by
Tim Akpinar, From the February
2006 issue of Trial magazine,
Posted with permission of Trial
(February 2006 Copyright The
Association of Trial Lawyers of
America. Limitation of liability
can arise in a collision with a
commercial fishing vessel as
well as a jet ski, personal
watercraft or waverunner
accident.
Click here to see article
from
Marine Officer -
Feb/Mar 05
Foreign
Seafarers of the Third
World,
by Tim Akpinar,
which contrasts conditions
faced by foreign seamen
injured at sea with U.S.
seamen working aboard
commercial ships under
the U.S. flag. Some basic
differences include the
absence of laws such as
the Jones Act, Death on
the High Seas Act, or fair
application of concepts
such as unseaworthiness,
negligence, compensation
for personal injury when
someone is injured at
sea, and maintenance
and cure.
If a person is injured in a
maritime accident as a
Jones Act seaman
aboard a tugboat,
towboat, cargo ship,
passenger ship, fishing
trawler or other
commercial vessel, or as
an injury plaintiff in a
recreational boating, jet
ski, waverunner, personal
watercraft, diving,
canoeing, kayaking, or
swimming accident, and
the case proceeds to
federal court under
maritime law, the injuries
and damages could be
litigated in one the
following Federal District
Courts:

1st  District
Maine, Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, Rhode
Island and Puerto Rico

2nd District
Connecticut, New York,
Vermont

3rd  District
Delaware, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Virgin
Islands

4th  District
Maryland, North Carolina,
South Carolina, Virginia,
West Virginia

5th District
Louisiana, Mississippi,
Texas

6th District
Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio,
Tennessee

8th District
Arkansas, Iowa,
Minnesota, Nebraska,
North Dakota, South
Dakota

9th District
Alaska, Arizona,
California, Guam, Hawaii,
Idaho, Montana, Nevada,
Northern Mariana Islands,
Oregon, Washington

10th District
Colorado, Kansas, New
Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah,
Wyoming

11th District
Alabama, Florida, Georgia
District of Columbia
New and Important legal development
for injured commercial mariners...
  On
June 25, 2009, the Supreme Court of the
United States, in an opinion written by
Justice Clarence Thomas, ruled that
punitive damages are available where an
employer would not pay maintenance &
cure. To read more about the case & the
decision, click
here.
When a vessel breaks loose from its mooring during a storm and collides with
another vessel, the result is usually a lawsuit. When the cruise ship Carnival
Triumph broke free during an April 2013 storm in Mobile, Alabama, it collided with
another vessel, resulting in a multimillion dollar lawsuit. See
Carnival Cruise
Line sues shipyard.