Seattle's Fishermen's Terminal.
Photo by Tim Waller
1501 4TH AVE, SUITE 2800, SEAT TLE, WA 98101 PH. 206.624.6800 / INFO@PWRLK.COM
Medical Malpractice / Personal Injury /
Appellate Practice / Insurance Bad Faith
injury, nonpayment of seamen’s wages,
salvage, collision, contract, or other
specified maritime-related activity.
The lien is enforced by the arrest of
the ship, cargo or freight.
Other unique aspects of admiralty
law include limitation of liability,
salvage, and recovery for injuries and
death to seamen. The Limitation of
Liability Act, 46 U.C.S. § 30505, may
allow a vessel owner to limit its liability to the post-incident value of the
vessel (which may be on the seafloor)
and its pending freight, so long as the
incident occurs without the “privity”
or knowledge of the owner. In marine
salvage, the rescuer (salvor) is entitled
to a reward for taking the risks necessary to conduct the salvage. The size
of the reward, if not predetermined by
contract, is decided based on factors
such as the value of the property and
the degree of risk involved.
For injuries and death to seamen,
employer liability under maritime
law also differs markedly from the
common law and legislatively created
workers' compensations systems.
Under maritime common law dating
back centuries, the shipowner owes to
the seamen aboard its ship repatriation
costs, wages to the end of the “voyage,”
medical expenses (“cure”) linked to
shipboard injury or illness, and a daily
stipend (“maintenance”) during the
period of recovery. Separately, the
shipowner is liable under maritime
common law for damages, including
past and future wage losses and
general damages, for “unseaworthy”
conditions aboard its vessel. Under the
Jones Act, a federal statute related to
both coastwise trade (cabotage) and
bodily injury, a seaman injured (or
killed) in the course of employment
may recover similar, but not duplicate,
damages against the employer based
on neutered principles of negligence.
46 U.S.C. § 30104.
PRACTICE IN WASHINGTON
Here in Washington, maritime law
substantially governs the rights and