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Jones Act


A 1920 U.S. Statute which provides that a seaman injured by the negligence of the vessel owner, master, or fellow crew member can recover damages for his or her injuries from the vessel owner. See Seaman's Rights and Remedies.

The Jones Act is a law enacted by Congress that provides protection to persons who are members of the crew of a vessel. This law applies to inland river workers as well as offshore workers who work on jackups, semi-submersibles, lay barges, drill ships or other floating, movable structures, tugs / towboats, crew boats, tankers, cargo ships, fishing vessels, chemical ships, research vessels , diving vessels and cruise and recreational ships.

The Jones Act is an Act of Congress, which governs the liability of vessel operators and marine employers for the work-related injury or death of an employee. It is a federal cause of action, meaning that the United States Congress intended for all seamen's injuries throughout the nation to be guided by the same liability standards. Although the Jones Act protects seamen, it is not the same as workers' compensation. It does not require payment regardless of fault. In order for a worker to recover under the Jones Act, a worker must prove some negligence or fault on the part of the vessel's owners, operators, officers, and/or fellow employees or by reason of any defect in the vessel, its gear, tackle, or equipment. The Jones Act provides an injured seaman a remedy against his or her employers for injuries arising from negligent acts of the employer or co-workers during the course of employment on a vessel. This means that the employer must do something unreasonable or fail to perform a reasonable act that would have prevented injury in order for the seaman to win his claim Claims brought under the Jones Act can also raise claims against a vessel's owner that a vessel was unseaworthy.

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