Marine Employer's Liability
There are few accidents aboard ship that cannot be prevented
if proper safety procedures are followed.
Vessel owners frequently fail to perform proper risk analysis to prevent crewmen injuries. Profits and vessel utilization are often emphasized over mariner safety. Lack of sound seamanship or vessel unseaworthiness can create risk of injury to seamen. The number one cause of injury aboard any vessel is the negligence of a crewman. Under the Jones Act specifically, there is reduced causation, thus if the negligence of the vessel owner contributed any part in the injury to the mariner the vessel owner is fully liable. Additionally, Maintenance & Cure remedies also contribute to a marine employer’s liability. Oleron Guard keeps you informed of your client’s probable MEL risk exposure to the “Seaman’s Trinity”.
MEL Risk Exposures
An Oleron Guard risk analysis of a marine operator’s hiring, training, retention, health and safety practices will identify areas ripe for a Jones Act negligence claim.
The Jones Act obligates a vessel owner to provide its crewmen a reasonably safe place to work. The vessel owner has a duty to use reasonable care to prevent crew injuries. Negligence is the failure to do something that a reasonably prudent person would do, or not do, under similar circumstances. Oleron Guard is there to help determine how negligence could lead to an unwanted injury claim.
Differing from Jones Act risk exposure, which is against a seaman’s employer, an unseaworthiness claim is made against the vessel’s owner. In many instances those two will be the same. An unseaworthiness risk can bring the vessel owner into a MEL claim as an additional source of a seaman’s recovery. As with the Jones Act, an unseaworthiness claim must be filed within three years of the injury, and must be combined with a Jones Act claim. If an unseaworthiness claim is joined with a Jones Act claim, the plaintiff may ask for a jury trial on the unseaworthiness claim.
Oleron Guard’s team of seasoned mariners attend your clients’ vessel to assess if the crew is properly trained & credentialed, that the vessel is maintained to regulatory & industry standards, and that risk conditions are being sufficiently mitigated.
Seamen who are injured while working for your marine operator client may be entitled to maintenance and cure. Maintenance is a seaman’s day-to-day living expenses. Cure is the seaman’s medical costs. Employers are only obligated to pay maintenance and cure until the seaman is fit for duty, or until he has reached a point where additional medical treatment will not help him.
As a maritime Third Party Administrator, Oleron Guard makes every effort to assist your firm’s Maintenance & Cure redress efforts.
A much needed true 3rd party that can assess risk and work with vessel owners as well as insurance companies and charterers to reduce risk and in turn save lives, environment, and equipment, while also saving money.Tony Odak, CEO of Stone Oil