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A Season for Thanksgiving

Those who earn their living at sea have an additional reason to be thankful this year:

The U.S. Supreme Court, and lower courts, have recently made rulings of benefit to injured seamen. The Supreme Court has affirmed the historic principle that a seaman may recover damages if vessel negligence contributed in any degree, no matter how slight, to cause his injury. The Supreme Court has also ruled that punitive damages are available in maritime cases. These damages are awardable where vessel interests have been wilful in failing to provide a seaworthy vessel, or in failing to pay maintenance and cure to an injured seaman.

There are still shoal waters to be navigated in prosecuting a claim for maritime personal injury. But a couple of the available passages have been dredged! For this crewmembers can be thankful.

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