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Jones Act Archives

Defining "in the service of the vessel"

Those in Manhattan who work in the maritime industry are likely well-aware of the perils that they face from their profession. The heightened risk that they encounter while on the job has prompted policy makers to extend them added protections through the Jones Act. Section 30104 of this Act (as shared by the Cornell University Law School) clearly stipulates that injured seamen are allowed to bring action against their employers. It is also clear in detailing that one's injury must be sustained during the course of employment to qualify for this relief. 

Jones Act may cost U.S. up to $15B per year

New York residents who have ever found themselves in gridlock and looked around to see a host of semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles carrying goods may logically wonder why so much commercial transport still relies on ground transportation. Even though the New York City area has designed truck routes in an attempt to alleviate some of the problems and dangers, the number of trucks on the road does pose issues on a daily basis.

Should the Jones Act be repealed?

If you work in the shipping industry in New York, you have likely heard of the Jones Act. You may even have strong feelings about it. You wouldn't be alone. Many people have boisterous opinions about this law from the 1920s. Most of them feel it is time to retire it completely and allow for better, less restrictive regulations to take its place.

On a course toward unmanned cargo ships

The day when a ship may leave a port in New York without a crew member aboard is out there, although the exact date is still up in the air. According to IEEE Spectrum, designers are currently working on the technology to make unmanned cargo ships a reality, and trial runs have even been held. Proponents believe the safety benefits of a ship controlled by robotic and remote means could eliminate the thousands of mariner deaths each year.

Accident on tugboat leaves crew member without an arm

Working on a tugboat in New York Harbor presents unique challenges and hazards, as these vessels are designed to push or pull other vessels from place to place. Equipment and duties on a tugboat may put seamen at risk in cases of negligence, such as improperly performed maintenance or inadequate training for the jobs at hand.

Before you receive compensation under the Jones Act

Any New Yorker who is injured on the job should have some recourse for receiving compensation to cover medical expenses and lost wages. However, the workers’ compensation laws that apply to employers in the state are not the same as those that apply to maritime employers. According to the U.S. District Court for the Ninth Circuit, a seaman who sustains an injury because of the employer’s negligence may be eligible to file a Jones Act claim.

Injured seaman seeks compensation against ship owner

An injury to a worker on a ship in New York is not the same as suffering an injury while working a job on land. For one thing, the person must use maritime laws to seek appropriate compensation. This gives the injured seaman the right to sue the owner of the vessel for negligence while also claiming maintenance and cure benefits. The lawsuit against the owner can ask for damages that do not involve medical care or living expenses while on land to seek medical treatment for the injury.

Fisherman suffers head injury while at sea

Many people along the shoreline of New York decide to make fishing their career. Some of them own their own boat while others decide to work on someone else’s ship. The smaller vessels will often just sail out for the day and return under the cover of darkness while larger ships – those in search of crab or large tuna – may stay out for a week or more. Fishermen who work on these ships often find themselves in tight quarters, and they must be constantly on the lookout for swinging equipment, littered decks and slippery surfaces. If they are not careful, or the ship’s officers have failed to do their part, injury can easily occur.

When a service worker is hurt on a vessel

Vessels can have far more workers aboard them than just those involved with its navigation and engines. For example, there can be various general service-providing workers on maritime ships. Some examples of such workers are listed on this page of our website. Service-providing workers can be particularly common on passenger vessels, such as cruise ships.

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