Obviously, nobody should be suprised at this


#21

[QUOTE=Kraken;146765]Do I understand this right, as long as you are a “seamen”(within prerequisites that are given) then you can sue the company whether you are working abroad and for a foreign company in the United States under the Jones Act?[/QUOTE]

No. You misunderstand. The Jones Act has no applicability to any foreign vessel operating outside US waters. The Jones Act applies to US flag vessels anywhere in the world. The Jones may apply to certain foreign flag vessels while they are in US waters under certain conditions. US courts do not have any jurisdiction over foreign flag vessels outside of US waters. Foreign vessels are only subject to the jurisdiction of the flag state, or perhaps the port state under certain circumstances.

I assume its the same in Norway as in the US, a shipowner must provide medical care and economic compensation to injured seamen. The difference is that the US does not have national insurance, and I bet in Norway that there is a government process to compel the shipowner to promptly pay economic compensation through some type of “workers compensation.” In the US, there is NO workers compensation for seamen. The shipowner can, and often does, refuse to pay anything, or offers the desperate seaman next to nothing. That essentially compels the seaman to sue.

Please listen carefully: There is absolutely no reason why a foreign flag shipowner needs to fear employing American seamen. American seamen do not have any right to sue foreign flag ships operating outside US waters.


#22

[QUOTE=tugsailor;146773]No. You misunderstand. The Jones Act has no applicability to any foreign vessel operating outside US waters. The Jones Act applies to US flag vessels anywhere in the world. The Jones may apply to certain foreign flag vessels while they are in US waters under certain conditions. US courts do not have any jurisdiction over foreign flag vessels outside of US waters. Foreign vessels are only subject to the jurisdiction of the flag state, or perhaps the port state under certain circumstances.

I assume its the same in Norway as in the US, a shipowner must provide medical care and economic compensation to injured seamen. The difference is that the US does not have national insurance, and I bet in Norway that there is a government process to compel the shipowner to promptly pay economic compensation through some type of “workers compensation.” In the US, there is NO workers compensation for seamen. The shipowner can, and often does, refuse to pay anything, or offers the desperate seaman next to nothing. That essentially compels the seaman to sue.

Please listen carefully: There is absolutely no reason why a foreign flag shipowner needs to fear employing American seamen. American seamen do not have any right to sue foreign flag ships operating outside US waters.[/QUOTE]

A shipowner has to pay sickness benefits the first 16 days a employee is sick, after that the employee is transferred over to NAV (Labour and Welfare Administration) who handles the employee until he either recovers or gets on a disability plan. The ship owner also organizes a group life insurance for the employees. But most of the medical care and economic compensation the seaman earn up by paying taxes.

Most of the rights of the employees are covered by the Seamen’s Act, but it is very rare that a seamen are suing shipowner on his own. Usually the Unions are taking care of that stuff.

I feel genuinely sorry for American sailors that they have gained a reputation because of how the legal system works in the United States. But it is part of the differences between common law and civil law.

It should be said that I just barely touch the subject of how it works in Norway. We love bureaucracy and an ordinary mortal like me have no ability to know everything about rules and regulations. I have enough with the paper mill at work.


#23

[QUOTE=tugsailor;146773]…

Please listen carefully: There is absolutely no reason why a foreign flag shipowner needs to fear employing American seamen. American seamen do not have any right to sue foreign flag ships operating outside US waters.[/QUOTE]

Please tell that to my P & I Club.

Specifically - we are limited to the total number of American citizens we may employ on each vessel, and pay extra for the privilege of doing so. There’s a reason for that.

Just the way it really is, not the way we like it.


#24

[QUOTE=+A465B;146786]Please tell that to my P & I Club.

Specifically - we are limited to the total number of American citizens we may employ on each vessel, and pay extra for the privilege of doing so. There’s a reason for that.

Just the way it really is, not the way we like it.[/QUOTE]

That is a surprise. I’d like to hear more detail about this. I am wondering whether the P&I clubs are taking this discriminatory action based up real risks, or merely misperceived risks.

As I understand it, seamen of any nationality MAY be able to sure a foreign flag shipowner in US courts for injuries that occurred in US waters. Longshoremen and third parties may also be able to sue foreign flag ships for injuries that occur in US waters. That does not appear to discourage foreign flag ships from calling in US ports.


#25

I do not understand how a US court would have any jurisdiction over a foreign owned, managed, and flagged ship operating exclusively outside of US waters, based upon the mere fact that a claim is asserted by a seaman that happens to be an American citizen.

Americans do own a lot of foreign flag ships, and manage many of them from the US (e,g., Stamford). I can imagine that a US owned and managed ship that is flying a foreign flag of convenience might possibly be subject to the jurisdiction of US courts under certain circumstances, even if the incident on the ship occurred outside of US waters, but I don’t see what the nationality of the seaman would have to do with that.


#26

There are essentially 2 jurisdictions: 1) the flag state of the vessel and 2) the port state where the vessel is. IMO, anything else is conjecture, and sea lawyers talking.

.


#27

What I mean is that if I am receiving credible threats in a known sketchy area like that and my requests for transfer or improved security aren’t being met to my satisfaction, at a time of an all out hiring frenzy by the big players…Gary doesn’t have enough money for me to get on that plane.

At the same time I am also saying that the working conditions are unacceptable and the companies know exactly what goes on there.

I am also saying that everyone here threw the Aiviq crew under the boat for refusing to say no to the oil company tow plan. This capt did the same thing after a slight protest to his sailing orders that he knew were a bad idea. Either you believe in masters overriding authority or not.

I feel bad for the capt. I do. That being said I restate my original conclusion…no innocent parties. I do however think he gets paid in this situation. All parties played a dangerous game, but they ALL knew what game was being played.


#28

What if they bring up, I’m just making assertions here, how much cash money he probably made selling chevron/Gary’s fuel? There’s his settlement!

I do think the guy should have stayed home, for christ’s sake we go weatherbound despite the office wanting us to go, nevermind piracy issues.

Anyone with experience with the foreign crews there? What’s it like being the gringo onboard?


#29

As a mariner you are responsible and liable for the way you act or the things you say while conducting company business. The same way I believe the company should be liable for whatever happens to you while conducting company business. If he had been at a bar or whore house I believe the company wouldn’t be responsible but he was on a rout requested by the client and company. Doing his job, making them money


#30

I reckon benificial ownership will allow usa durisdiction, where did the money come from to pay the nigerian bar fine?
I’ll also bet eco got warned to pay protection money or it would happen, only some companies have bad luck over there ans some dont…
Refusing to sell fuel is one reason to get attacked.


#31

[QUOTE=rigdvr;146809]What I mean is that if I am receiving credible threats in a known sketchy area like that and my requests for transfer or improved security aren’t being met to my satisfaction, at a time of an all out hiring frenzy by the big players…Gary doesn’t have enough money for me to get on that plane. [/QUOTE]

Each person faces a differant situation, different tolerance for risk, varying ablitities to make calculated judgements and, perhaps most importantly, face differant levels of personal economic risks at home (house and car payments, tuitions for kids, elderly care etc)

If the company can replace a captain who feels that the risks are unacceptable with one who is willing to take bigger risks then master’s overriding authority is meaningless. If that’s the case then it becomes a game of musical chairs and whoever is in the captain’s seat then things go sour is the bad guy.


#32

I agree. I let company pressure get the best of me once early in my career…and it was bad for me.

I decided then that I would rather walk from a job life and license intact than repeat my mistake.


#33

In the case of ECO and Wren Thomas in Nigeria, it is my understanding is that he was serving as the US master of a US flagged vessel, and the employee of a US company, so obviously US courts have jurisdiction over the case.

The concept of “beneficial ownership” is not implicated in this case. Secondly, I highly doubt that a US court could assert jurisdiction over a foreign flag ship merely based upon US “beneficial ownership.” US management of the ship might be a different story.


#34

To the best of my knowledge, a US citizen mariner working on a foreign owned and foreign flagged ship can still sue that shipowner under the Jones Act in US Federal Court even if the injury happens outside US waters. The seaman can attach any asset of the shipowner if it is in the US such as another ship to recover damages. This is one very big reason US seamen can’t buy a job on a foreign ship (especially those working in the GoM since they are always in US waters)


#35

[QUOTE=c.captain;146834]To the best of my knowledge, a US citizen mariner working on a foreign owned and foreign flagged ship can still sue that shipowner under the Jones Act in US Federal Court even if the injury happens outside US waters. The seaman can attach any asset of the shipowner if it is in the US such as another ship to recover damages. This is one very big reason US seamen can’t buy a job on a foreign ship (especially those working in the GoM since they are always in US waters)[/QUOTE]

I respectfully disagree. I guess its time for me to visit the university law library to do a little research.


#36

[QUOTE=c.captain;146834]To the best of my knowledge, a US citizen mariner working on a foreign owned and foreign flagged ship can still sue that shipowner under the Jones Act in US Federal Court even if the injury happens outside US waters. The seaman can attach any asset of the shipowner if it is in the US such as another ship to recover damages. This is one very big reason US seamen can’t buy a job on a foreign ship (especially those working in the GoM since they are always in US waters)[/QUOTE]

Disagree with some of your statements.
http://www.accidentlawyerhawaii.com/seaman-injury-maritime/i-c-4.htm

http://www.jonesact.com/USC688/059099.php

http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1283&context=ilj


#37

[QUOTE=tugsailor;146843]I respectfully disagree. I guess its time for me to visit the university law library to do a little research.[/QUOTE]

Sorry but a US citizen seaman has some of the most unassailable rights of any group in the eyes of the Courts here…a finding of liability is very easy for a seaman to obtain even against a foreign vessel owner.

Pretty much if you are a US seaman, your claim for damages is bonafide in the eyes of the Courts no matter who the defendant is, his nationality or even physical location. The hard part is to collect on a judgement if there is nothing in the US for a Marshall to attach.


#38

[QUOTE=tugsailor;146789]That is a surprise. I’d like to hear more detail about this. I am wondering whether the P&I clubs are taking this discriminatory action based up real risks, or merely misperceived risks…[/QUOTE]

P & I Clubs set premiums and calls based on risks and claims paid. It is a competitive business, so they are not doing it for fun. So there must be a reason.

I’ll check more into it with the brokers in a bit and let you know.

But truth be told, US mariners are a specialty product outside of the US domestic trades and barely register in considerations of most international operators. There are good American fellows out there, make no mistake at all - but we seem to just not get there very often for some reason. American owned and managed foreign flag fleets, or otherwise.

Recruiters, managers, crewing agencies, skill sets, experience base, prejudices, complaint history, injury costs … It all plays a part. I wish I had an answer and more American mariners, but it is like the wind is just blowing the other way. No excuses.


#39

Back in my megayacht days there were many usa owned yachts that refused to have usa crew due to being sued in the usa, when on paper the whole deal was foreign flagged owned and managed


#40

[QUOTE=Chief Seadog;146853]Disagree with some of your statements.
http://www.accidentlawyerhawaii.com/seaman-injury-maritime/i-c-4.htm

http://www.jonesact.com/USC688/059099.php

http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1283&context=ilj[/QUOTE]

The information posted above, especially the case squibs in the accident lawyer Hawaii link, do a pretty good job of explaining why seamen (including Americans) injured on foreign flagged outside US waters, normally cannot sue in US courts. The risk of suits, especially successful suits appears to be very small.

Any seaman, regardless of nationality, on any commercial ship regardless of flag, who is injured on that ship in US waters, can probably sue in US courts. The risk of a suit under these circumstances is large, but it has little to do with the nationality of the seaman.