Jones Act

Show on page(s): 

“The Jones Act provides a cause of action in negligence for ‘any seaman’ injured ‘in the course of his employment.’ Under general maritime law prevailing prior to the statute’s enactment, seamen were entitled to ‘maintenance and cure’ from their employer for injuries incurred ‘in the service of the ship’ and to recover damages from the vessel’s owner for ‘injuries received by seamen in consequence of the unseaworthiness of the ship,’ but they were ‘not allowed to recover an indemnity for the negligence of the master, or any member of the crew’ [quoting from the 1903 Supreme Court case The Osceola]. Congress enacted the Jones Act in 1920 to remove the bar to suit for negligence articulated in The Osceola, thereby completing the trilogy of heightened legal protections (unavailable to other maritime workers) that seamen receive because of their exposure to the ‘perils of the sea.’” J. O’Connor, Chandris, Inc. v. Latsis, 515 U.S. 347, 354 (1995).