Page 28: of Marine News Magazine (September 2019)
Vessel Conversion and Repair
medical improvement. ‘Maintenance that the maintenance and cure rem- punitive damages were recoverable for and Cure’ is a seaman’s bene? t that edy, including punitive damages, pre- the wrongful denial of maintenance takes care of an injured seaman while dated the passage of the Jones Act and and cure bene? ts.
he is ill; it does not compensate him there was no indication in the Jones As the Supreme Court had held that for sustaining the injury. Act that Congress wanted to alter punitive damages were not allowed for
On the other hand, negligence and the pre-existing common law on the Jones Act negligence claims but were seaworthiness claims require a ? nding subject. As such, the Court ruled that allowed for maintenance and cure of fault before a seaman can be com- pensated. These claims compensate the seaman for his injury by providing an award of damages including gener- al damages for pain and suffering and
ZF Propulsion pecuniary losses such as lost wages, fu- ture medical care, life care, etc.
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Historically, the courts have not al- lowed punitive damages in maritime claims. In 1990, the Supreme Court af? rmed this notion in Miles v. Apex
Marine holding that a Jones Act sea- man alleging a claim for negligence under the Jones Act was limited to the recovery of pecuniary losses. As punitive damages are non-pecuniary,
Miles held that a Jones Act seaman could not recover punitive dam- ages in a negligence action brought against his employer.
After nineteen years of vessel own- ers being shielded from punitive dam- ages, the Supreme Court in Atlan- tic Sounding v. Townsend partially
ZF Marine Locations: opened the door for punitive damage
Mukilteo, WA – (425) 583-1900 awards. The Townsend decision held
Linwood, PA – (610) 328-0176 that a seaman could recover punitive
Elmwood, LA – (504) 443-0501 damages for a willful, wanton, and
Miramar, FL – (954) 441-4040 wrongful denial of maintenance and cure bene? ts. The Court reasoned 29 www.marinelink.com MN
MN Sept19 Layout 18-31.indd 29 8/27/2019 12:04:58 PM