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Tag Archives: Admiralty

Tort/Negligence – Wrongful Death – Contributory Negligence – Admiralty – State Law Action (access required)

Thorpe v. TJM Ocean Isle Partners LLC Plaintiffs’ decedent was working at a marina when he was killed, and admiralty law claims are subject to the defense of comparative negligence rather than contributory negligence. Nevertheless, since plaintiffs allege that defendants violated non-maritime duties imposed by N.C. law, plaintiffs cannot bring a wrongful death claim based in admiralty against defendants. Since N.C. law is the source of plaintiffs’ claims, the substantive law of North Carolina applies, including the defense of contributory negligence.

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Admiralty – Tort/Negligence – Suits in Admiralty Act – Coast Guard – Search & Rescue (access required)

Turner v. United States The Coast Guard’s decision as to whether to start a search for a missing boater is discretionary; therefore, the Coast Guard’s delay in starting the search for plaintiff and her husband is shielded by sovereign immunity. Plaintiff made it to shore 20 minutes after the Coast Guard started its search; she has not shown that she was damaged by any negligence of the Coast Guard in that timeframe.

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Admiralty – Personal Injury – Arbitration (access required)

Aggarao v. MOL Ship Mgmt. Co. Ltd. A Filipino seaman who suffered devastating injuries while working aboard the Asian Spirit vessel in the Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore must arbitrate his claims against the vessel owner and additional defendants; the 4th Circuit affirms the arbitration decision but vacates the dismissal of the case and remands for reinstatement and consideration of the injunction request and entry of a stay pending arbitration.

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Admiralty – Allision — Damages – Fair Market Value — Yacht & Corps of Engineers Vessel (access required)

F.C. Wheat Maritime Corp. v. U.S. When the captain of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers vessel fell asleep at the wheel and struck plaintiff’s 70-foot yacht, the Marquessa, docked at the pier at Ocean Marine marina in Portsmouth, the yacht was a constructive total loss based on two of three opinions in this battle of the experts, and the 4th Circuit affirms a $440,000 damage award for the fair market value of the ship at the time of loss.

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