When a Seaman gets COVID, what are his/her claims?

(credit: www.imo.org)

More and more professional seafarers are testing positive for COVID while serving aboard commercial vessels at sea.

If that happens, what options or remedies are available to the seafarer under the General Maritime Law and the Jones Act?

Depending on the facts of the situation, there may be several possible legal remedies. Those possible legal remedies include:

  1. Maintenance- daily payments to help cover the seaman’s daily living expenses during the period of time he is receiving medical care;
  2. Cure- the employer’s obligation to provide medical care while you recover from your injury, applicable both aboard ship and ashore. Proof that your employer or anyone else was negligent is not required to receive maintenance & cure (M&C) benefits, only that the illness or injury occurred during your presence aboard or service to the vessel.
  3. Wages until end of voyage, with term agreed upon in the Seaman’s Articles/ documentation of employment;
  4. Repatriation- travel expenses home or where you joined the ship.
  5. Negligence against the seaman’s employer, under the U.S. Jones Act. This protects most men and women who work at sea, allowing them to sue their employer when their employer’s negligence caused or contributed to their injury or illness.
  6. Unseaworthiness- a claim of strict liability against owner/operator of the commercial vessel;
  7. “Compensatory damages”- damages awarded by a court equivalent to the loss a party suffered for any wrongful denial of Maintenance and Cure benefits;
  8. Potential Attorney’s Fees, for unreasonable denial of M&C benefits;
  9. Potential Punitive Damages, which are additional damages awarded when actions taken are particularly harmful, such as if M&C benefits are callously denied;
  10. “Found”- an injured seaman also may recover an element for loss of “Found”, which is the value of room and board a seaman would have received if he or she had remained employed aboard a vessel, if the seaman cannot return to work at sea, due to his or her injuries/illnesses.

If you or a loved one have questions about the above legal remedies, or are a seaman with such complaints, we at the Herd Law Firm would be happy to speak with you, free of charge.

This article is intended for general interest and does not constitute legal advice.

(credit: unsplash.com)

Let’s Discuss Your Case

If you or someone that you know has contracted COVID-19 while on board a cruise ship, you may be entitled to compensation. If so, call the law offices of the Herd Law Firm, PLLC for a risk-free evaluation of your potential case.

Call 713-955-3699 now!