Supreme Court Bars Punitive Damages for Unseaworthiness

In June, the U. S. Supreme Court issued a significant ruling beneficial to maritime industry. In Dutra Group v. Batterton, the Court resolved a... More

Watch Out When Ending Maintenance and Cure

A fundamental right of seamen is maintenance and cure benefits. A shipowner owes the seaman these benefits without regard to fault if he is... More

Liability for Medical Malpractice

The Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit (Alabama, Florida and Georgia) has opened the door to a potential flood of liability exposure for... More

False Distress Call Results in Serious Criminal Penalties

In March 2012, an aircraft pilot falsely reported observing a fishing boat with four passengers in distress in Lake Erie.  In response to the... More

Dock Owners Liability

Boarding and disembarking from vessels. Without a second thought, mariners do it day in and day out – – most of the time without... More

Vessel Owner Exonerated by Divine Intervention

A common defense in maritime personal injury and property damage litigation is the “Act of God,” also known as force majeure.  It is premised... More

Non-Signatory to Contract Bound By Arbitration Clause

With increasing frequency, mandatory arbitration clauses are being written into maritime contracts.  You may have run across them in charter parties, towage and salvage... More

Keeping Good Witness Statements From Going Bad

When a marine casualty occurs, attorneys and adjusters are often dispatched to investigate the cause of the accident and assess the extent of damage... More

The Sometimes Harsh Realities of Joint and Several Liability

The doctrine of joint and several liability is not unique to the maritime law.  In fact, it dates back to at least the 18th... More

The CG-2692: Be Careful What You Say and How You Say It

With few exceptions, commercial vessel operators must provide immediate notification to the Coast Guard when involved in a serious marine casualty.  The criteria for... More