Statute of Limitations in Maritime Cases not Limited to Vessels Engaged in Commerce

Plaintiff was injured while aboard Defendant’s pleasure yacht on October 25, 2011.  On January 29, 2015, Plaintiff filed a negligence based lawsuit in federal court in Florida.  Defendant then filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the statute of limitations for a maritime tort barred the claim.  Plaintiff argued that the maritime statute of limitation did not apply because his case was not maritime in nature since he was aboard a pleasure yacht rather than a seagoing vessel.

The court found that Defendant satisfied both the locality and nexus tests, and because admiralty jurisdiction was established, the three year statute of limitation under 46 U.S.C. § 30106 attached.  The court held that although certain vessels are excluded from certain limits on liability, the definition of ‘vessel’ in maritime law was not limited to those engaged in commerce.  Defendant’s motion to dismiss was granted.

Parker v. Darby