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Admiralty Outline - Fall 2003Overview Admiralty is federal law, originating in Article III, SS 2 of Constitution. i. First Congress included Cases of Admiralty/Maritime in Judiciary Act. ii. Supremacy Clause.
b. If say that case is admiralty/maritime case, governed by admiralty law, is to say that substantive admiralty law applies. i. Differences: statute of limitations, comparative laws for recovery, etc. a
Main: trial by judge. From very beginning, admiralty cases are w/o juries. May be why someone brings suit in admiralty - to avoid the jury. ii. Admiralty cases can't be removed from state to federal courts.
a. but most admiralty cases can be brought in state courts unless qualify under diversity. b. But federal admiralty law will be applied. iii.
Jurisdiction arises under: a. 28 USC 1331: federal questionb. 28 USC 1332: diversityc. 28 USC 1333: admiralty & maritime. iv. BUT, Congress didn't choose to enact substantive law in the statutes - left to courts. v.
Courts mainly address three issues: a. what is an admiralty case? b. if it is, what is the admiralty rule? c. construing the savings to suitors clause - eg, what types of cases does Congress mean to say that we only want federal courts sitting in admiralty to have jurisdiction over? Basics of AdmiraltyRequires: Locality + maritime nexus- Executive Jet decision. - DeLovio v.
Boit (1815): Maritime insurance policies are within admiralty & maritime jurisdiction of US b/c maritime contracts include charter parties, affreightments, marine bonds, Ks for repairing, supplying & navigating ships, Ks between part owners - etc - AND insurance. Historical limitations: - Could only sue in rem- Forbade actions in personam vs. shipowner, master. - Rules precluding admiralty court from hearing matters arising w/in body of the country. - Forbidding admiralty jurisdiction where no influence of tide. - Forbidding admiralty jurisdiction involving building or sale of ship.
- The Thomas Jefferson (SCOTUS, 1825): Action arising on Ohio to Missouri river is not in admiralty, because no influence of tide. Great Lakes Act (1845): extends jurisdiction to G. Lakes. o Becomes almost superfluous after Genesee Chief, but - still allows saving to suitors the right of jury trial if wanted. o Possible to have an equal protection argument - why in GL, but not other inland navigable waters. But no caselaw.
The Genesee Chief v. Fitzhugh (SCOTUS, 1851): overrules the TJ. Holds that GL Act is Constitutional. o Lakes are inland seaso Hostile fleets have been encountered on them, prizes made, reason to have admiralty jurisdiction. o Nothing particular in the tide that makes waters suitable for admiralty.
o Limiting admiralty in country with so many inland navigable waters is impracticable. (Policy). Post Genesee Chief admiralty jurisdiction: o Public navigable watero On which commerce is carried on o Between different states or nations The Eagle (SCOTUS, 1868): Tug towing brig & barge, tug caused collision. o Issue: since GL Act limited admiralty on GL to contract & tort where vessels are over 20 tons, since Genesee Chief, is there general jurisdiction over all vessels on GL? o Holding: Yes. GL is pretty much obsolete - can use regular admiralty rules.
Admiralty Jurisdiction in Contract Cases: North Pacific Steamship v. Hall Brothers Marine (SCOTUS, 1919): in personam action for unpaid repair bill. Repairs at drydock count as admiralty claims. Doesn't matter if drydocked or afloat. o Contract for building ship isn't maritime.
o Contract for repairing ship is maritime. Once ship is launched, issues about the ship are maritime. Kossick v. United Fruit (SCOTUS, 1961): Seaman who made oral agreement with master about medical treatment has claim in admiralty - to say not maritime is too narrow. o Note: in maritime law, oral contract is valid under statute of frauds.
The answer of the jurisdiction issue will lead to a different result, depending. Exxon Corp. v. Central Gulf Lines, Inc. (SCOTUS, 1991): Admiralty jurisdiction extends to claims arising from agency contracts - here, a contract for providing fuel.
o Case overturns Minturn on narrow grounds. Lower courts should look at the subject matter of the agency contract to determine if the services were maritime in nature. (Supplying fuel to a ship was.) Preliminary Ks: o some Ks that lead up to a maritime K aren't maritime, like a K to procure a maritime insurance policy - though the policy itself is. o Lease of vessel is maritime, but sale is not. Mixed Ks:o K will not be within admiralty jurisdiction unless wholly maritime.
Exceptions: if maritime & non maritime elements are separable, admiralty court will exercise jurisdiction over the maritime part. If non-maritime portion is incidental, court will exercise admiralty over the whole thing. Admiralty Jurisdiction for Tort Claims Different test. Palumbo v. Boston Tow Boat Co (Court of Appeals, MA, 1986): Claim without direct damage (like economic damages stemming from loss of clientele after accident) is not appropriate for admiralty jurisdiction under Admiralty Extension Act.
Admiralty Extension Act (1948): extends admiralty & maritime jurisdiction to include all cases of damage or injury to person or property caused by vessel on navigable water, notwithstanding that damage may be done or consummated on land. o Prior to act, ship to shore claims weren't maritime, but common law. Bridges, wharves were considered land. Locality factor: where the tort takes place. o at common law, when conduct on land causes injury on navigable waters was admiralty, but not when conduct on water caused injury on land.
Nexus factor: wrong must bear relationship to admiralty, must have maritime nexus. (Since 1972)o almost anything occurring on navigable waters will meet the nexus test. Jerome B. Grubart, Inc. v.
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. (SCOTUS, 1995): o Two pronged test for nexus developed. a. Was event disruptive to maritime commerce? b. Was it a maritime activity? Look up foremost & Sisson - determine exact jurisdictional tests for admiralty jurisdiction, differences in contract & tort. After Executive Jet must have: Incident out of which claim grew must have had disruptive influence on maritime commerce. Substantial relationship to maritime activity.
o Navigable Waters Jurisdiction inquiries rely on issue of whether matters in the suit had sufficient involvement with navigable waters - the maritime nexus. Navigable waters - classic definition in The Daniel Ball: waters navigable that are either navigable in fact or can do so in conjunction with other waters in which they flow. Leblanc v. Cleveland (2nd Circuit, 1999): Navigable requires that the body of water be capable fo supporting commercial maritime activity now, not just historically. Can have seasonable non-navigability. But if not normally navigable and just occasionally navigable, then no admiralty jurisdiction.
o Vessels 1 USC : vessel includes every description of watercraft of artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water. (not very influential definition.) Parsons: Erie canal boat is vessel (1903) Vessel issue arises in number of contexts: Tort caused by vessel Maritime lien or ship mortgage Jones Act Limitation of Liability act. Crew of vessel can't recover under Longshore & Harborworkers' compensation Act. Manuel v. PAW Drilling & Well (5th Circuit, 1998): Rig 3, with no navigation, propulsion, or crew quarters was a vessel for purposes of admiralty jurisdiction & applicability of Jones Act.
Look at: o Purpose for which the craft is constructedo Business in which craft is engagedExclusive Jurisdiction of Admiralty Courts & Concurrent Jurisdiction of Common Law Courts The Moses Taylor (SCOTUS, 1866): man sued for breach of K b/c of conditions on the ship. Sought damages in state court; owner of vessel argued he had no jurisdiction b/c cause of action was one in admiralty. SCOTUS: clearly admiralty b/c related exclusively to service to be performed on the high seas and pertained solely to the business of commerce & navigation. Not within saving to suitors clause. Need to make sure I get more about savings to suitors.
Rounds v. Cloverport Foundry & Machine Co (SCOTUS, 1915): Work for repairing & rebuilding steamboat is fine in common law; suit was in personam & attachment was in the suit; not other effect to proveid security for payment of personal judgment. Admiralty Procedure since 1966o FRCP 9(h): pleading admiralty & maritime cases and separate claim: diversity or federal question. Places where it makes a difference if the claim asserted is an admiralty claim: Special impleader (Rule 14(c)) No jury trial for admiralty (Rule 38(e)) Admiralty claim isn't subject to venue requirements that govern other actions (Rule 82) Somewhat broader right to interlocutory appeal (28 USC SS1292(a)(3)) Supplemental rules provide for separate procedures to be followed in distinctive types of proceedings - in rem, personal jurisdiction acquired through attachment, partition actions, actions for limited liability. o Jury issue: Sphere Drake Insurance v. J. Shree Corp (SD of NY, 1999): insurance companies underwrite policies in London; D is merchant who insured gemstones, which were lost. Underwriters want declaratory judgment vs.
Shree. Complaint is admiralty; compulsory counterclaims from D & demand of jury trial. Split in authority about whether jury trial should be permitted. Argument for jury trial is strongest for compulsory counterclaim that falls outside of the admiralty jurisdiction. Even if filed in admiralty, court will likely try the whole thing to a jury.
o Personal Jurisdiction United Rope v. Seatriumph Marine (7th Circuit, 1991): United Rope asking to establish federal common law of personal jurisdiction (contrary to Omni case - held that personal jurisdiction may be created only by statute or federal rule with force of statute) Court: unless state or federal law authorize personal jurisdiction over the D, court must dismiss. State court has no jurisdiction under long arm statute. (never called on Wisconsin port). Prof thinks this is narrow reading of due process.
Subsequent change: if sue in state court, can sue in federal court. Nissho Iwai v. M/H Star Sapphire (SD of Texas, 1995): if no state jurisdiction in any state, may find federal jurisdiction - FRCP 4(k)(2). Blueeye Navigation v. Oltenia Navigation (SD of NY , 1995): Charter suing for attachment pending London arbitration - trying to reach bank accounts. (Object of maritime attachment doesn't have to be maritime (unlike a suit in rem).
Attachment doesn't prevail b/c couldn't find bank accounts in any of the banks - basically asking for future jurisdiction to do so. Court says no. Now there is a provision in the supplemental rules for procedure that have to make an ex parte showing that have prima facie case in admiralty. Sources of Substantive Admiralty Law o Maritime Authority of Congress When conflict between federal legislation & state or common law, almost always SCOTUS will bow to Congress. o Nonstatutory federal maritime law vs. state law More difficult; Conflict between admiralty law as created by judges vs.
state law. o Ballard Shipping Co. v. Beach Shellfish (1st Circuit, 1994): in federal admiralty court, state law is preempted if it interferes with the proper harmony & uniformity of maritime law. BUT, state courts are free to determine what the federal substantive admiralty law is.
(Sometimes not clear.) Kossick v. United Fruit (SCOTUS, 1961): Seaman/hospital K case. Issue here - whether the contract, while maritime, is "maritime and local" enough so that applying state law would not disturb uniformity of maritime law. SCOTUS: should be uniform, maritime law. Maritime Tort Law Seamen have three remedies for on-the-job injuries: Maintenance & cure: judicially created worker's compensation.
o Doesn't require fault, or even causation. o Only requires that injury/illness manifests itself while in the service of the ship. Exceptions: Willful conduct (intoxication, disobedience to orders) Maximum cure - no further benefits. Jones Acto Very liberally interpreted for seaman both to evidence & causation. Unseaworthinesso Doesn't matter how vessel became unseaworthy.
o Even through not long enough for D to become aware.o Types: defects in crew, manning, defects in equipment, gear. Seaman Statuso Who is a seaman is hotly contested, given the rights conferred under the Jones Act, unseaworthiness, and maintenance & cure. o Critera for seaman is the same for Jones Act, unseaworthiness, and M&C Judge Wisdom's test led for decades Injured workman was permanently assigned to a vessel If capacity in which he was employed, or duties he performed, contributed to the function of the vessel or accomplishment of its mission, or operation or welfare of the vessel in terms of maintenance during movements or during anchorage. At time of Jones Act, definition was: All persons employed onboard ships & vessels during the voyage to assist in their navigation and preservation, or to promote the purposes of the voyage. Effect of 1927 Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) Provided workers' comp for workers hurt on navigable waters that excluded a master or member of a crew of any vessel (mutually exclusive from Jones Act.) Difference between seaman/longshore benefits:o Seamen have better remedieso If have a weak claim, no fault, no unseaworthiness? Go for longshore benefits (since better than M&C).
o But if have a shot at claiming damages under Jones Act, unseaworthiness - go for the seamen's remedies. o If case is doubtful - either/or - go for longshore benefits (start sooner), injured worker can collect compensation while lawyer investigates if he's a seaman. If good case for seaman, the fact he's accepted benefits under the longshore act isn't prejudicial - can change mind & repay the longshore benefits after recovery as seaman. Cynical procedure. Chandris v. Latsis (SCOTUS, 1995): Definition of seaman.
o Employee's duties must contribute to the function of the vessel or the accomplishment of its mission. o Seaman must have connection to a vessel in navigation (or identifiable group of vessels) that is substantial in terms of duration & nature. Worker spending less than 30% of time in service of vessel in navigation should not qualify as seaman under Jones Act. 5th C standard. Rejection of voyage test (if working on vessel while navigating/contributing to mission - you're a seaman.) why not? Don't want people walking in and out of coverage.
o Vessel in navigation requirement precludes Jones Act coverage for workers assigned to vessels on non-navigable water (dry dock would be a jury question). Possibility - mothball fleets (like in Martinez) Recurring questions in Seaman litigation: Was apparatus or structure on which the work was done a vessel? Was the vessel in navigation? If seaman status is claimed on the basis of a work-connection with a group of vessels as opposed to a single on, was the group a fleet? Was the worker's connection with the vessel or fleet substantial in duration? Was the worker's connection with the vessel or fleet "substantial in nature?" Some courts require that worker's duties must take him to sea (out of sight of land) - others require exposure to the perils of the sea. If not longshoreman or seaman, coverage under state workman's compensation. Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation ActEnacted 1927, amended in 1972 & 1984 Pre 1972: longshoreman injured, immediately could get benefits through stevedore. If sue third party vessel owner (and the vessel in rem) on grounds of negligence or unseaworthiness of vessel. Implead the stevedore employer who caused unseaworthiness - get full indemnity - so employer pays compensation & also the third party vessel owner. Post 1972: Longshoreman injured, can only sue vessel owner for negligence, not unseaworthiness - but benefits are better.
o Contains two tests Situs Adjoining areas, after 1972 Status Longshoremen include ship repairers, ship construction workers, ship breakers - any person engaged in maritime employment including any longshoreman or longshoring operations & any harbor worker. Specifically excludes master or member of the crew of a vessel. o Sun Ship v. Pennsylvania (SCOTUS, 1980): state may apply its workers' compensation scheme to land-based injuries that fall within the coverage of LHWCA. Establishes overlap between LHWCA and state workers' comp. If worker injured in overlap area and litigates, doctrines of claim preclusion & issue preclusion frequently foreclose other suits. o If non-seaman injured and excluded from LHWCA, look to maritime tort law. Maybe argue that the nexus requirement of Executive Jet and a maritime nexus.
(Eg, motorboat injures.) May qualify within the exclusions of the longshore act. o Northeast Marine Terminal Co. v. Caputo (SCOTUS, 1977): injured workers (injured on waterfront) are entitled to compensation - in 1972 Congress extended coverage shoreward, broadening definition of navigable waters of the US to include "any adjoining pier, wharf, dry dock, terminal, building way, marine railway, or other adjoining area customarily used by an employer in loading, unloading, repairing, or building a vessel." But must be engaged in maritime employment. Addition now of status test.
Eastern issue - RR workers covered by FELA & longshoremen covered by LHWCA. Which applies when train involved in unloading cargo? Wrongful Death & Survival Actions - Death on the High Seas Act Wrongful death: to compensate decedent's dependents for losses suffered as a result of the death. Survival: allow an action the decedent had at the time of his death to survive and become an asset of the estate. o Eg, loss of future wages, pain and suffering until time of death. Moragne v. States Marine Lines (SCOTUS, 1970): there is an action at maritime law for death caused by violation of maritime duties.
o Overturns The Harrisburg, which had three anomalies in it. Within territorial waters, identical conduct violating federal law produced liability. Identical breaches provide liability outside three mile limit, but not in territorial waters. A true seaman has no remedy for death caused by unseaworthiness within territorial waters while a longshoreman does have the remedy when allowed by state statute. o Heavily litigated decision - SoL left open.
Use doctrine of laches. Laches: standard maritime law. No SoL in maritime; if wait "too long" you're barred from brining suit. o Gaudet case: loss of society damage & not just economic damages are recoverable under Moragne. o Fight becomes is there recover of non-economic damages (loss of society) as opposed to economic (loss of wages, income). Miles v.
Apex Marine Corp (SCOTUS, 1990): Jones Act precludes recovery for loss of society (applies when killed as a result of negligence), loss of future income isn't recoverable in survival action, general maritime cause of action for wrongful death of seaman, but damages don't include loss of society. Yamaha Motor Corp v. Calhoun (SCOTUS, 1996): parents of teenager killed on jet ski in Puerto Rico can bring Moragne-type claim & state law claim (to get around Miles v. Apex), also want loss of society. o Court: state remedies remain when there's no federally applicable statute. Death on the High Seas Acto Amended to cover commercial aviation accidents on the high seas; If within 12 nautical miles, act doesn't apply. Then apply Yamaha, state wrongful death If beyond 12 miles out, no punitive damages.
Wrongful death analysis: o Who was the decedent & what was his status? Seaman, worker?o Where is the situs? High seas, territorial waters - if territorial, which state?Limitation of Liability Congress enacted in 1851, amended in 1930s Carr v. PMS Fishing Corp (1st C, 1999): o LOL provides that owner's liability cannot exceed the value of its interest in the vessel & pending freight at end of voyage. If sinks, not necessarily no value. o Limitation applies only if shipowner lacked privity or knowledge in the act or condition that led to the injury. Can be actual or constructive knowledge. Court must determine: Whether negligence or unseaworthiness caused the accident & Whether shipowner was privy to, or had knowledge of, the causative agent (whether negligence or unseaworthiness). Claimant bears initial burden of persuasion for negligence and unseaworthiness. Burden shifts to shipower to establish lack of privity &knowledge.
What's eligible? o Seaman's claims under Jones Acto Unseaworthiness claimso Wage claims are NOT subject to LOL - unjust to say that wages went down with the ship. ...
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