Search Our Site


Law Offices of Preston Easley
 Maritime Accident Attorneys • Serving California & Hawaii

Experienced Trial Lawyers for Maritime Injuries and Accident Claims Involving:


• Passengers

• Seamen

• Longshoremen

Jones Act

Maintenance And Cure

While a seaman is out of work due to a work-related injury, he/she is entitled to receive maintenance payments. Maintenance payments are a living allowance paid to the seaman to replace lost wages until he reaches his point of full recovery or maximum medical improvement. Under the Jones Act, the employer must also pay for all medical treatment, which is known as cure. Maintenance and cure is paid regardless of fault. Continue reading

Filing A Jones Act Seaman Lawsuit Against An Employer

Seamen fall under the Jones Act which allows them to sue their employers for negligence and seek damages for wage loss, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Workers' compensation does not pay for pain and suffering. Harbor workers assigned to vessels owned by their employers such as tug boats, workboats, barges, and floating cranes, can claim seaman status and sue their employers directly. This right was affirmed in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case known as Southwest Marine, Inc. V. Gizoni, a San Diego case that was handled by Preston Easley. Gizoni was a shipyard rigging foreman who was injured when he fell through a hole in the deck of a work barge owned by his employer. You have three years from the date of injury to file a Jones Act lawsuit....

Continue reading

Seamen’s Rights To Sue

Unlike shore workers who receive workers' compensation benefits regardless of fault, a seaman must sue his employer for damages. He has two ways to go -- negligence and unseaworthiness. The Jones Act gives a seaman the right to sue his employer for negligence (failure to use ordinary care.) To succeed in a negligence action a seaman must demonstrate some degree of fault on the part his employer, no matter how small, that caused his injury.

Continue reading

Ferry Accidents

The owners, and captains of ferries are legally responsible for providing safe transport for their passengers. The vessels should be regularly inspected for leaks or mechanical failures, all equipment (including steering, brake and alarm systems) should be kept in top-notch operating condition, and the ship should contain enough personal flotation devices to accommodate all passengers and crew in the event of a serious accident. The captain also has a duty not to navigate his ship safely, free from reckless or negligent behavior such as exceeding safe speed limits in order to keep the ferry on a predetermined schedule...

Continue reading

Unseaworthiness Claims

In maritime law, an unseaworthy vessel is defined as any fishing boat, cruise ship, yacht, barge, etc. with unsafe conditions on board. Unseaworthiness doesn't mean that the ship is liable to sink as soon as it ventures into the open seas, and in fact this rarely happens. More often, an unseaworthy vessel is one that causes any injury to its crew or passengers, as the result of the negligence of the vessel's owner or captain. Continue reading

Pile Driver Accidents And Injuries

Used in the construction of bridges, piers and other marine structures, pile drivers are mechanical devices that literally do what their name says—drive piles deep into sediments by plunging gigantic weights down long guide lines. These weights are lifted up the pile driver's guide line with the aid of steam, hydraulics, diesel fuel or even manual labor, and then released multiple times to secure the pile firmly underwater. Because stability is crucial for this type of job, most pile drivers are operated from land, but engineers sometimes resort to pile-driving barges...

Continue reading

Dredging Accidents And Injuries

Among the most complicated, and dangerous, pieces of equipment in the entire maritime industry, dredgers are vessels designed to scoop massive amounts of sediment out of lakes, rivers, canals and coastlines. Dredgers are used in the construction of bridges, piers and harbors, and also to keep existing waterways clear of silt and debris, and thus open to navigation. To the extent that many people are familiar with dredgers, that's because smaller versions of these vessels are used by the police to recover evidence (such as bodies or firearms) from lakes and small bodies of water...

Continue reading

Negligence Claims Under The Jones Act

When it was passed nearly 100 years ago, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920—better known as the Jones Act—was intended to protect the interests of American shipbuilders, American shipping companies, and American sailors and dockworkers. This law mandates that all ships traveling between U.S. ports be constructed in the U.S., owned by U.S. companies, and crewed and maintained by American seamen and/or permanent U.S. residents. Not least, from the viewpoint of marine employees, the Jones Act allows sailors to collect damages if they have been injured due to the negligence of the ship's owner, the captain, or other members of the crew....

Continue reading