Under the Jones Act, you can sue your employer for negligence and recover damages for medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. Admiralty/unseaworthiness claims can be brought against the owner of the vessel on which you worked. In addition, if you were exposed to benzene containing products such as fuels, chemicals, solvents, paints or degreasers, you can file a product liability claim against the manufacturers of those products.
Who is Eligible?
These claims are available to seamen, helpers, riggers, leadmen, quartermasters, boatswains, mates and masters. Basically any member of the vessel’s crew. For the Jones Act to apply, your vessel must be used, or capable of being used, for maritime transportation. In addition to oceangoing ships – tugboats, commercial fishing boats, pile drivers, dredges, scows, and barges are all considered vessels under the Jones Act. Certain oil drilling rigs, including semisubmersibles, jack-up rigs, and tension leg platforms are typically covered under the Jones Act. Workers on oil production platforms that are fixed to the seabed are generally not covered by the Jones Act.