When most people think about seamen who suffer injuries; individuals who work in commercial fishing or on cruise lines and shipping vessels likely spring to mind. While individuals who are injured while working aboard fishing boats, cruise ships and ocean liners are covered under the Jones Act, many other individuals who work in various professions are also eligible to claim injury benefits and take legal action under the law.
A 48-year-old counterterrorism detective with the New York City Police Department recently filed a $106 million lawsuit against the NYPD and New York City. The lawsuit stems from injuries the police detective and former U.S. Marine suffered roughly two years ago when he was involved in a rescue operation on the East River.
According to the lawsuit, the 48 year old was part of a counterterrorism patrol team when his boat received news of a distress call. The 48-year-old NYPD detective was directly involved in the rescue operation of three men whose 25-foot boat had capsized. During the course of the harried rescue operation, the detective claims he suffered serious injuries to his neck and back which have left him permanently disabled and in chronic pain.
The lawsuit was filed under provisions of the Jones Act which extends to all American seamen who perform work-related duties on sea vessels that travel on lakes, rivers and oceans. Among the plaintiff's claims cited in the lawsuit are that he was forced to perform the rescue "without the assistance of a competent crew," and that the defendants failed to provide safe working conditions and necessary safety equipment. Consequently, the main claims his injuries were suffered through no fault of his own and were solely caused due to the defendants' "negligence, recklessness and carelessness."
Source: New York Post, "Hero cop sues city for $106 million over boat rescue," Selim Algar, June 25, 2015
New York Daily News, "NYPD detective hurt during river rescue due to lack of ‘competent’ crew: $106M suit," John Marzulli, June 28, 2015