Workers assigned to vessels owned by their employers such as tugboats, work boats, 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 attorney Preston Easley. Gizoni was a rigging foreman who was injured when he fell through a hole in the deck of a work barge. You have three years from the date of injury to file a Jones Act lawsuit. A non seaman can sue his employer for negligence when his employer is also the vessel owner.
Shipyard Injuries: Your Rights Under The Longshore Act. Information about your rights under the Longshore Act including worker’s compensation, choosing a doctor, seeking medical treatment, right to pay and other compensation, what you should do if you have been injured at work, and when you can sue an employer as a seaman under the Jones Act. Also, information about specific injuries covered under the Longshore Act.