Maritime Civil Remedies

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Maritime issues written by leading professionals.
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Freeze, Ship – You’re Under Arrest: Former Warship Now Underwater Following Court Order

The Federal Court ordered that a former Royal Canadian Navy destroyer be released from arrest before trial, without bail, so the ship could be sunk by its owner to create an artificial reef near Vancouver. ...more

Hong Kong court - enforcing a maritime arbitration award by arresting a ship

The arrest of a ship to obtain security for a maritime claim in jurisdictions where this is permitted is a powerful weapon in the armory of a claimant in shipping disputes. There has, however, been a concern that a claimant...more

Is payment of time charter hire a condition? The Astra reconsidered.

In Kuwait Rocks Co v AMB Bulkcarriers Inc (The Astra), Flaux J determined that the obligation to make punctual payment of hire under an amended NYPE time charter, whether on its own or in conjunction with an anti-technicality...more

Is payment of time charter hire a condition? “The Astra” re-considered

In Kuwait Rocks Co v AMB Bulkcarriers Inc (The Astra) (as reported in a previous post), the court determined that the obligation to make punctual payment of hire under the amended NYPE time charter in that case was a...more

Highlights from the Admiralty Law Institute

The 25th Biennial Admiralty Law Institute kicked off with great success on March 11, 2015. Informative presentations continued on March 12-13, building on the theme of this year’s conference, “Symposium on Maritime Personal...more

Eighteen Percentage Spread between Pre- and Post-Judgment Interest Rates Affirmed

The current post-judgment interest rate in federal court is the infinitesimally meager rate of 0.22% (that is 22 hundredths of a percent, not 22 percent) as per statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1961(a). ...more

Fifth Circuit upholds “seamen” exemption and dismisses “day-rate” FLSA collective action suit.

A wave of FLSA collective (class) actions have been filed against scores of marine shipping and towing companies in the Gulf States for violation of the FLSA. Specifically, these suits claim that the commonly used “day-rate”...more

Legislation Alters Shipping Act Treatment of Attorneys’ Fees

Late yesterday, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed S. 2444, the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014....more

Fifth Circuit Maritime Case Will Set National Standard

In McBride v. Estis Well Service LLC, a divided Fifth Circuit sitting en banc held that punitive damages are not recoverable by an injured seaman or his heirs under the Jones Act or general maritime law of...more

Maritime Bulletin: Fifth Circuit Rules on McBride

The Fifth Circuit issued its en banc decision in Estis v. McBride Well Service, LLC, No. 12-30714 (5th Cir. September 25, 2014) and ruled that a Jones Act seaman’s recovery is limited to pecuniary losses where liability is...more

To Hell With “Oh, Hell, Why Not” – The Fifth Circuit en banc Reverses Estis v. McBride Well Service, L.L.C.

In a much anticipated ruling, the Fifth Circuit en banc has reversed the original panel ruling in Estis v. McBride Well Service, L.L.C., 731 F.3d 505 (5th Cir. 2013), which sent shockwaves through the maritime bar and...more

FERC Issues Declaratory Orders in Shell and Pivotal Proceedings Related to LNG Production Facilities

On September 4, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued declaratory orders in response to two petitions, each seeking a jurisdictional determination under the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”)...more

Injured Sailors May Seek Punitive Damages in the Asbestos MDL

U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, who oversees asbestos multidistrict litigation, issued a decision in July permitting injured sailors to seek punitive damage awards. In Re:...more

Asbestos MDL Court Concludes Punitive Damages for Unseaworthiness Allowed for Seaman But Not for a Seaman’s Personal...

In a consolidated asbestos products liability multidistrict litigation (MDL), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held in In re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No. VI), MDL 875, that...more

Recent Developments in Maritime Punitive Damages

In 2009, in Atlantic Sounding Co., Inc. v. Townsend, the Supreme Court “sea tossed” the law of maritime damages when it held that punitive damages are recoverable for an employer’s willful and wanton failure to provide a...more

Enforcing Foreign Judgments in U.S. Admiralty Courts: Second Circuit Prefers Substance Over Form

After protracted and expensive litigation overseas, you obtain a judgment against the defendant. There remains one series of hurdles left to cross: the defendant refuses to pay that judgment and has no assets in the country...more

When Can Twelve Turn into Twenty-Four? Calculation of FMLA Leave for Vessel-Based Employees

The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) ensures an employee the ability to take leave and return to work within twelve “workweeks” of a qualifying event. Employers that do not honor the protections of the FMLA risk a...more

U.S. Fifth Circuit: The CWA and OPA Preempt State Law Claims for Pollution Incidents on the OCS

Offshore exploration in the Gulf of Mexico implicates maritime law, federal law, and the different laws of five coastal states. The manner in which these different substantive laws interact is often a critical, but unclear,...more

Fifth Circuit Recognizes Compensation Lien In Jones Act Case

In Chenevert v. Travelers Indemnity Co., No. 13-60119 (5th Cir. March 7, 2014), the Fifth Circuit formally recognized the right of an insurer providing and making voluntary payments to an injured employee under the Longshore...more

Land-Based Jones Act Seaman Status, Emotional Damages, And The “Zone Of Danger”

Fifth Circuit Affirms Jury Finding for Land-Based Worker to be Covered by Jones Act but Reverses Award of Emotional Damages in Naquin v. Elevating Boats LLC, No. 12-31258 (5th Cir., 3/10/14)....more

Foundering On "Sea-Tossed" Waters? The Fifth Circuit Grants En Banc Rehearing in Estis

After making a splash in October of 2013 with a landmark ruling in McBride v. Estis Well Service, L.L.C., 731 F.3d 505, 517 (5th Cir. 2013) "that punitive damages remain available to seamen as a remedy for the general...more

Validity And Enforceability Of Seaman’s Release

The recent ruling in Double J. Marine, LLC v. Matthew Nuber, No. 13-5825 (E.D. La. Dec. 11, 2013) serves as a key reminder that employers need to be mindful that courts scrutinize release agreements as seamen are the wards of...more

Second Circuit Firmly Aligns (for now) with the Robins Dry Dock Rule on Non-Recoverability of Pure Economic Damages Absent...

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in American Petroleum & Transport, Inc. v. New York, 2013 WL 6332548 (2d Cir. Dec. 6, 2013) recently - albeit reluctantly - joined the fleet of other federal circuit...more

Maritime Attachment And Arrest . . . What Are They And Why Should I Care?

“A ship may be here today and gone tomorrow, not to return for an indefinite period, perhaps never. Assets of its owner . . . within the jurisdiction today, may be transferred elsewhere or paid off tomorrow.”...more

But I’m Not Dead Yet! Punitive Damages For Unseaworthiness Claims Live On

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded that Jones Act seamen can recover punitive damages for their employer’s willful and wanton breach of the general maritime duty to provide a seaworthy vessel, in...more

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