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Jones Act suit filed after large wake snaps mooring line

Earlier this week, we discussed how the federal Jones Act allows maritime workers to sue their employers under a strict liability theory after being injured on the job. Essentially, maritime workers only need to prove that a vessel was "unseaworthy" and that they were injured as a result, not that their employer knew about the danger.

Jones Act lawsuits can also be filed against owners vessels that cause injuries to workers on other ships. Recently, a Texas maritime worker filed suit against the owner of a vessel after he was injured on his own vessel Oct. 18 when his vessel's mooring line snapped and struck him.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Nov. 8 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division, states that the maritime accident occurred because the M/V Aktea vessel was traveling an excessive speed, which caused it to create a large wake and led to the mooring line being snapped on his Seahawk 2008.

The injured seaman said the M/V Aktea was traveling at a speed in excess of what is reasonable for inland waterways. The seaman said that as a result, he suffered severe injuries to his head, neck, back and face. Metalgenics Investment Group Inc., the Seahawk 2008 and Chandris (Hellas) Inc. were all named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The seaman accuses the defendants of negligence for: failing to properly train and supervise the crew, failing to provide proper safety equipment, failing to operate a vessel with the proper crew, failing to operate the crane in a safe manner and failing to properly secure the mooring lines.

The seaman is seeking an unspecified amount in damages and he has requested a jury trial.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Seaman sues after being struck by snapped mooring line," Michelle Keahey, Nov. 12, 2012

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