Maritime Law News - Archives
Legal and other developments in Maritime Law
For older maritime law and related marine news, see Archives - Older Cases
Wednesday - July 10, 2013 The recent article, 12 Tips for Twelve Weeks of Summer,
presents a number of prudent recommendations for enjoying recreational vessels this
season and avoiding boating accidents. Read about the
boating safety article . It discusses
equipment, proper vessel operation, avoiding alcohol (which is a major contributor to boating
accidents), float plans, CG Auxiliary inspections and other important subjects.     
Friday - July 19, 2013 A Circuit Appeals Court in Georgia ruled on an appeal and cross
appeal involving a boating accident in The Bahamas. The plaintiff was seriously injured
when she fell off a jet-ski. Despite the permanence and severity of her injuries, the federal
appeals court did not grant monetary damages for pain and suffering. Read more at
boating
accident involving jet ski.
Wednesday - July 17, 2013 Investigation of cruise ship accident off the coast of Mexico is
closed. The U.S. Coast Guard concluded its investigation of a fire suffered by the cruise ship
Carnival Splendor off the coast of Mexico in 2010. The fire started when machinery
components were violently ejected through the engine casing. Fortunately no one was
injured. Read more at
cruise ship accident - investigation of fire aboard Carnival Splendor.
Sunday- August 4, 2013 The captain and other officers of the cruise ship Sea Diamond were
sentenced in connection with the sinking of the vessel after it hit a reef in the Aegean Sea in
April 2007. To read more, see
sentencing in cruise ship accident prosecution.
Wednesday - August 14, 2013 In its efforts to promote safety on the water, the U.S.C.G.
continues its program of stopping recreational boats to conduct tests for
boating-under-the-influence. On the Great Lakes, 89 vessels were stopped this year. Read
more at
preventing boating accident injury and death through BUI stops.
Sunday - September 2, 2013 The Coast Guard reminds recreational boaters about the
measures that can make for a safer day on the water, while preventing a boating accident. It
covers everything from avoiding BUIs, to ensuring that equipment such as life jackets and
VHF radios are in working order, to float plans. See
boating safety - boating accident
prevention article.
Monday - September 16, 2013 A boating accident form (CG-3865) can be required after an
accident on the water, depending on the level of injury and property damage. It can become
one the most important evidence exhibits used by maritime lawyers representing both
plaintiffs and defendants. Go to
boating accident form to read more.  
Monday - October 14, 2013 In a Jones Act lawsuit, an employer may not withhold
maintenance and cure. This Supreme Court decision is being upheld in subsequent
decisions. See
Jones Act Case Issue of Maintenance and Cure.
Monday - October 28, 2013 Does the enormous size of today's cruise ships introduce
issues in terms of emergencies at sea or passenger safety when it comes to accidents?
See the discussion here and read the
New York Times article Too Big To Sail - Cruise Ships
Face Scrutiny.
Thursday - November 21, 2013 What is the most important piece of equipment to have in a
boating accident ? When two fishermen off Maui were rescued by the Coast Guard, they were
fortunate to have a number of things that saved the day.
Friday - January 14, 2014 Federal Attorneys offered plea deals to defendants in prosecution
of maritime contractor case involving charges of conspiracy and bribery.
Saturday - June 14, 2014 Fifty seven people were injured in ferry accident ferry today. A ferry
running the Hong Kong - Macau route allided with a seawall off the coast of Macau on June
14, 2014. This is the third such maritime accident on the navigable waters of Hong Kong in
the past eight months. As a result of the crash, over fifty people were injured. The large jet
powered vessel was carrying 13 crewmembers and 220 passengers at the time it hit the
breakwater.
Thursday May 29, 2014  The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigated the
November 28, 2012 grounding of the bulk carrier Tundra after it departed Montreal, Quebec.
The vessel was steaming in the St. Lawrence River, bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia. Shortly
after 9:49 p.m. local time, the Tundra exited the navigation channel and ran aground off
Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel, Quebec. The vessel was refloated and no pollution or injuries were
reported. The vessel did sustain minor damage. Investigation of the accident focused on
the pilot’s passage plan, bridge team communication, information exchange, and use of
navigational resources. Source: TSB
Tuesday - April 8, 2014  The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the ferry
Seastreak Wall Street struck Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan in a January 2013 allision due to the
fact that the captain lost control of the vessel while attempting to dock. The NTSB also found
that the procedure used by the captain to reduce speed and transfer control from one bridge
station to another didn’t allow adequate time to respond to a loss of propulsion control.
(NTSB)
Friday - March 28, 2014 The owner of a 262 foot cargo ship has been fined after the ship ran
aground in the Farne Islands, United Kingdom. It was discovered that the vessel, M/V Danio,
had sailed for 90 minutes with all crewmembers asleep, with one At the time of the
grounding, all of the vessel’s crewmembers were asleep, with one waking up. The vessel
was carrying 27 tons of diesel fuel and 1,500 tons of timber. The owner has been charged
penalties of £60,000 and court costs of £12,000. Source: vesselfinder.com
Friday - June 28, 2014 Commercial Fishing Boat Involved in Accident. A 53-foot fishing boat
and a 120-foot ferry were involving in an accident in the waters off Cape Cod on June 26,
2014. The damaged vessel was safely towed to Nantucket following successful rescue
efforts by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Saturday - July 5, 2014 Hit and Run Boating Accident in Florida A 32-foot pleasure boat
crashed into a 36-foot boat near the waters of Dinner Key, Florida. Several of the larger
yacht's passengers were injured. The accident is under investigation as authorities search
for the operators of the smaller vessel.
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
Barbetta
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.