Maritime Law News
Legal and other developments in Maritime Law
For older maritime law and related marine news, see the Archives.
Thursday - August 28, 2014 Safety on the Water and the Prevention of Boating Accidents The
Coast Guard issued recommendations for a safe Labor Day weekend.
Monday - October 13, 2014 Who is a Jones Act seaman? The case of Dize v. Maryland Pilots
Association brought attention to the issue of seaman status. If an employee performs duties
on shore that are in the service of the vessel, do they count toward time worked to satisfy the
test set forth in Chandris Inc. Latsis?
Monday - November 3, 2014 Cruise ship infection and illness concerns were alleviated with
the testing negative for Ebola virus of a worker aboard the Carnival Magic.  
Monday - December 15, 2014 The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that tankermen vessel
crew members are Jones Act "seamen," and as such are not entitled to overtime pay under
the Fair Labor Standards Act - Review of defendant appellee motion for summary judgment
from U.S. District Court for Southern District of Texas.  
Wednesday - January 28, 2015 The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a cruise line can
be liable for medical malpractice and negligence of medical staff. In Franza v. Royal
Caribbean Cruise Line
, Case No. 13-13067 D.C. Docket 1:13 20090-JAL, federal judges
reversed and remanded to the district court the earlier 5th Circuit Court decision of
v. S/S Bermuda Star
, 848 F. 2d 1364, 1988 American Maritime Cases 2650. Maritime trial
attorneys opposing the cruise line applied legal causes of action based on actual and
apparent authority.
Friday - February 27, 2015 Boating accident off Port Everglades. Five people found
themselves in the water after the vessel capsized, with rescue efforts conducted by Miami
and Fort Lauderdale personnel.
Wednesday - March 25, 2015 In one of the nation's highest profile maritime law cases
exercising admiralty jurisdiction over a catastrophic accident, judges for the 5th Circuit Court
of Appeals affirmed the decision of the District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in
dismissing the indictment of BP supervisors under the Seaman's Manslaughter Statute, 18
U.S.C. § 1115.
Tuesday - April 14, 2015 Passengers are injured on RCCL Legend of the Seas and
Celebrity Infinity as a result of gastrointestinal illness. Cruise ship injuries aren't always in
the form of broken bones or sprains. The incidents are being investigated by the CDC.
Wednesday - May 13, 2015 Your Legal Duty to Cooperate with the Boat Insurance Company
A recent case illustrates that a marine insurance company can deny coverage if the boat
owner does not cooperate with their requests to submit to an EUO (Examination Under Oath)
Monday June 15, 2015 Maritime Law Updates - Mandatory Vessel Exams As of October 15,
2015, commercial fishing vessels operating more than three (3) nautical miles offshore will
be required to undergo mandatory safety exams.
Tuesday July 21, 2015 Maritime Law Updates - Jones Act Exclusion  Although the Jones Act
maintenance and cure, it has certain exclusions, including non-U.S. citizen seamen.
Monday, Aug 17, 2015 Class action injury lawsuit involving chartered cruise ship won by law
firm defending the cruise line.
Wednesday, Sept 23, 2015 Cruise ship physicians win lawsuit after suing cruise line and
obtain class certification in the Third Circuit Court in Florida against Celebrity Cruise Line.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rules for defendant Carnival Cruise
Line in crew-based lawsuit involving arbitration clause and its relevance in employment and
medical malpractice - negligence based lawsuit moved from state court to district court.
Monday, November 23, 2015 Cruise Ship Accident off Falkland Islands. The 10,000 ton
cruise ship La Boreal suffered an engine room fire on Nov. 18th. Fortunately, no passengers
were seriously injured in the successful abandon ship operation.
Friday, December 11, 2015 Criminal Prosecution Under Maritime Law for crew members in
engine department by U.S. Department of Justice for by-passing equipment intended to
prevent the unlawful discharge of oily waste water from vessels.
Friday, January 8, 2016 U.S. Maritime Law allows for Limitation of Liability under certain
circumstances. Vessel interests in the recent and tragic loss of
El Faro are attempting to
invoke the law for impending litigation related to the sinking of the vessel.
Wednesday, February 23, 2016 Injury Involving Docking Accident with Boat that Lost Power
expert testimony as to legal duties between boat and commercial towing service.
Thursday, January 21, 2016 Boat Collides With Dock - Who is Liable in an Accident Involving
a Breakaway Boat? This New York case examines the legal presumption that applies, as
well as the elements of rebutting the presumption.
Thursday, March 3, 2016 Cruise ship passenger sue Royal Caribbean Cruise Line after the
ship is caught in severe weather and sea conditions off Cape Hatteras
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 Lawsuit Involving Yacht Conversion arises between vessel owner
and shipyard. Tim covered this case for Long Island Boating World magazine.
Monday, April 4, 2016 Boating Accident Examines Determination of Total Constructive Loss
After Docked Boat is Struck by Government Vessel . A boat owner should be compensated
for property damage after a boating accident... but a number of factors become admissible
for courts to consider in computing loss... surveyor reports, modifications, etc.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 Jones Act Case in Federal Court Illustrates Operation of Punitive
Damages . Although U.S. Maritime Law recognizes the concept of punitive damages, the
concept is relevant on a case-by-case basis, examining various legal issues.
Friday, May 6, 2016 Boating While Intoxicated and Boating Under the Influence - Factors in
Boating Accidents. Public service announcements warn about misdemeanor and felony
charges in BWI and BWAI arrests and convictions. Tim covered these issues for the United
States Power Squadron in a recent issue of The Ensign, their quarterly magazine.
Thursday May 26, 2016 Federal Court Upholds Maritime Arbitration Decision Regarding
Legal Defense of Duress  The First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a maritime arbitration
decision in which duress was raised as a defense in a salvage action. Tim covered this
decision in the recent issue of Long Island Boating World.
Wednesday June 29, 2016 In the recent issue of Long Island Boating World , Tim covers the
duty to cooperate with marine insurance carriers. Whether a claim stems from a boating
accident on navigable or non-navigable waters, collision, allision, salvage, or other type of
personal injury, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, etc., the policyholder will
be subject to an investigation by the underwriter. What are the claimant's legal rights and
duties in complying with and cooperating with the insurance carrier? Click the link above to
read the article.
Tuesday July 12, 2016 Alcohol Issues in a Boating Accident - Long Island Boating World  A
federal lawsuit heard in District Court in the District of Maryland examined issues of liability in
a boating accident where the passenger alleged the resort where the boat was moored
should be liable for her injuries when the boat crashed into a stationary object.
Friday, August 26, 2016 Who is at Fault in a Maritime Collision The second part of this
federal case that was heard in District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern
Division demonstrated the application of the dominant mind doctrine, a admiralty and
maritime law principle used to determine liability in multi-vessel collisions and accidents.
Thursday, August 11, 2016 Environmental law considerations don't often come to the
forefront in the realm of adjudicating boating accident claims and other injury and property
damage cases. However, environmental law issues for pleasure boaters, marinas, yacht
clubs, boat yards and other facilities have grown in importance.
Monday, July 25, 2016 Who is at Fault in a Maritime Collision  A federal case in District Court
in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division addressed the issue of liability in a
multi-vessel maritime accident on navigable waters.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016 Determining subject matter jurisdiction in a boating
accident In the September 2016 issue of Long Island Boating World, Tim covers a federal
district court case that addresses the issue of jurisdiction in accidents involving pleasure
boats and recreational watercraft.
Monday, September 26, 2016 Criminal Prosecution under Maritime Law involving Seamen
and Vessel Operator The U.S. Dept. of Justice applied federal environmental law to
prosecute crew members and vessel owners in an incident involving the unlawful discharge
of waste onto navigable waters.
Friday, October 28, 2016 Jones Act standing in a maritime injury lawsuit hinges on legal test
for seaman status under federal case law The U.S. Dept. of Justice applied federal
environmental law to prosecute crew members and vessel owners in an incident involving
the unlaw
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Court applies same admiralty jurisdiction test as that used in
boating accident for shark bite lawsuit The U.S. Dept. of Justice applied federal
environmental law to prosecute crew members and vessel owners in an incident involving
the unlawful discharge of waste onto navigable waters.
Saturday, April 29, 2017 Legal Issues about cell phone use confront federal court following
a boating accident involving a speedboat and a ferry
. The California district court was faced
with the commercial vessel operator's petition to limit liability, commonly arising in maritime
law litigation.