Arbitration Clauses in a Jones
Act Case . For commercial
fishermen and other mariners
who work on U.S. commercial
vessels, a major issue that
confronts plaintiffs and
defendants in any maritime
lawsuit is whether the court
will have subject matter
jurisdiction and whether the
Jones Act will apply.

The Jones Act covers
commercial mariners injured
in the course of their
employment. Slightly similar
to workers' comp schemes,
but involving the element of
fault, the Jones Act offers
remedies to deckhands,
bosuns, AB seamen,
engineers, QMEDs, oilers,
wipers, captains, mates,
fishermen and other vessel
crews injured in the course of
their employment. The
remedies for a maritime injury
include pain and suffering,
maintenance & cure, and other
monetary forms of
compensation.

Jones Act cases usually
follow the general maritime
law statute of limitations of
three years - the plaintiff
suffering injury or their
attorney must file lawsuits
within three years of an
accident in most cases.

The added twist comes in the
form of arbitration clauses
that dictate the forum. While
federal district courts have
subject matter jurisdiction
over commercial mariners hurt
on the job, some maritime
employers utilize arbitration
clauses (this is prevalent in
the cruise ship industry).

The case at hand examines the
enforceability of one such
arbitration clause. See f
ederal
court decision on commercial
fisherman case regarding
arbitration clause stemming
from Jones Act injury.


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