Jones Act

News & Analysis as of

CBP Increases Jones Act Enforcement

Last month, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the creation of the National Jones Act Division of Enforcement (JADE). JADE will work with CBP and industry partners on coastwise trade, with an end goal...more

The New JADE: Energizing Jones Act Enforcement

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced the creation of a new enforcement division in the New Orleans Field Office focused solely on the Jones Act: The National Jones Act Division of Enforcement...more

Is it a new day for Jones Act enforcement? Maybe. A practical look at coastwise concerns

The Jones Act (46 U.S.C. § 55102) provides that the transportation of merchandise between coastwise US points is prohibited unless performed by vessels that are US-built, owned, and documented. US Customs and Border...more

CBP Announces the “JADE”—A New Enforcement Division for the Jones Act

Action Item: The creation of the National Jones Act Division of Enforcement (“JADE”) signals that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has made Jones Act outreach and enforcement a national priority. U.S. and foreign...more

U.S. Customs Aims to Increase Enforcement of the Jones Act

In what could foretell a significant increase in the enforcement of the coastwise trade provisions of the Jones Act, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) announced on July 18 the creation of the National Jones Act...more

Punitive Damages Only Mostly Dead Under General Maritime Law

Following the Fifth Circuit’s opinion in McBride v. Estis Well Service, 768 F.3d 382, 391 (5th Cir. 2014), we reported that punitive damages had “expired and gone to meet their maker” when it comes to Jones Act seamen. As it...more

“In Navigation” Status for Vessels under Renovation Remains Unclear

A Texas court of appeals recently held that a drill ship undergoing a renovation for nearly two years in dry dock might still be a “vessel in navigation.” Gold v. Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc., No. 14-15-00123-CV, (Tex....more

End Of Crude Oil Export Ban Could Have Negative Unintended Consequences

The repeal of the crude export ban, which Congress just passed and the president signed as part of the omnibus appropriations bill (read “budget”), may end up being one of those “watch out what you wished for” events. The ban...more

U.S. Customs Ruling Impacts Crude Oil Shipments

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) expanded U.S.-flag requirements in a recent ruling requiring shippers to use costly U.S.-flag vessels when shipping processed condensate to and from a foreign country to be blended...more

Future Lost Wages Decision of Note by U.S. Fifth Circuit

The U.S. Fifth Circuit recently reversed and rendered a District Court’s finding of future lost wages so that it was based on statistical work life expectancy rather than Social Security retirement age. In the recent...more

Shipping Act Antitrust Exemption Held for the First Time to Preempt State Antitrust Laws

For the first time, a federal court has held that the Shipping Act of 1984, 46 U.S.C. §§ 40101–41309 (Shipping Act), preempts state-law antitrust claims. The federal district court in New Jersey applied conflict preemption...more

Recent Maritime Cases Illustrate the Different Legal Risks Involved with Conducting Offshore Oil and Gas Operations

In May 2015 a U.S. District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals each issued opinions that address important legal issues concerning risk management in the offshore energy industry. In Marquette Transportation Co. Gulf-Inland, LLC...more

Mainbrace - January 2015 No. 1

In this issue: - A Sea Change Sweeps over Congress: A Look Back and a Look Ahead - Shipping & International Trade Law (Second Edition 2015) - Congress Passes Coast Guard Bill in Waning Hours of 113th...more

5th Circuit Blocks Punitive Damages in Maritime Case

In McBride v. Estis Well Service, LLC, the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that punitive damages are not available to seamen under the Jones Act or under general maritime law. In those cases, recovery is...more

New Jones Act Enforcement Initiative

Action Item: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) issued a Notice to the Area Port of New Orleans Trade Community on November 12, 2014, announcing electronic online reporting of possible Jones Act violations. Owners and...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

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

UPDATE: Punitive Damages for Jones Act Seamen are not “Pining for the Fjords, they’re Dead”!

On September 25, 2014, the en banc Fifth Circuit, in McBride v. Estis Well Serv., L.L.C., No. 12-30714 (5th Cir. Sept. 25, 2014), concluded in a brief opinion that the Supreme Court’s decision of Miles v. Apex Marine Corp.,...more

Don’t Stress, You’re Not Covered: Court Denies Recovery Under Jones Act for Work-Related Stress

The Eleventh Circuit in Skye v. Maersk Line, Ltd. held seamen cannot recover for work-related stress under the Jones Act. Is work-related stress starting to take its toll? ...more

Congressional Questions on LNG Exports Could Impact the Jones Act

Last month, Congress began consideration of comprehensive legislation to reauthorize the Coast Guard and other maritime transportation programs. Consideration of such legislation is an annual occurrence and generally moves...more

District Court Extends Fifth Circuit’s Naquin Decision to Barge Cleaning/Repair Employee

As previously reported (regarding the Naquin decision), the Fifth Circuit recently expanded the scope of Jones Act seaman status to include a shipyard worker who spent 70% of his time working aboard vessels (usually moored to...more

Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra: The Hercules Removal Jurisprudence Sprouts Yet Another Head

In yet another twist in the tortured labors of the Hercules jurisprudence regarding removal of general maritime law claims under 28 U.S.C. §1441(a), the Eastern District of Louisiana has generated a new, divergent “head” on...more

28 U.S.C. §1333 - The Shirt of Nessus that May Bring Down Hercules?

As detailed in numerous prior posts (most recently regarding the Coronel decision), a series of decisions allowing removal of general maritime law (GML) claims by seamen, even when combined with otherwise statutorily...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

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