(a)Subject to subsection (b) of this section, whenever the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on the high seas beyond a marine league from the shore of any State, or the District of Columbia, or the Territories or dependencies of the United States, the personal representative of the decedent may maintain a suit for damages in the district courts of the United States, in admiralty, for the exclusive benefit of the decedent’s wife, husband, parent, child, or dependent relative against the vessel, person, or corporation which would have been liable if death had not ensued.
(b)In the case of a commercial aviation accident, whenever the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on the high seas 12 nautical miles or closer to the shore of any State, or the District of Columbia, or the Territories or dependencies of the United States, this chapter shall not apply and the rules applicable under Federal, State, and other appropriate law shall apply.
2000—Pub. L. 106–181designated existing text as subsec. (a), inserted “Subject to subsection (b) of this section,” before “whenever”, and added subsec. (b).
Effective Date of 2000 Amendment
Pub. L. 106–181, title IV, § 404(c),Apr. 5, 2000, 114 Stat. 131, provided that: “The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) [amending this section and section
762 of this Appendix] shall apply to any death occurring after July 16, 1996.”
Act Mar. 30, 1920, ch. 111, which enacted this chapter, is popularly know as the “Death on the High Seas Act”.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Thursday, March 28, 2013
An empty table indicates that we see no relevant changes listed in the classification tables. If you suspect that our system may be missing something, please double-check with the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.