American seamen have three avenues of recovery against a shipowner in respect of injuries sustained on board a ship: maintenance and cure; the Jones Act; a claim of unseaworthiness.
Punitive damages are available for the first of these, but not the second. The position as regards unseaworthiness was, until recently, unclear with a Circuit split on the issue. This has now been resolved by the Supreme Court’s decision in Dutra Group v Batterton ,588- U.S.. ____ Uniqus Motorcycle Full Face Riding Helmet Clear Lens Shield Helmet(Dark bluee)Uniqus Motorcycle Metal Skull Head Number 1 Fuel Tank Cover for XL883 and XL120(2019) , to the effect that punitive damages are not recoverable. The overwhelming historical evidence was against such damages being available in an action for unseaworthiness. A novel remedy could not be sanctioned unless it is required to maintain uniformity with Congress’s clearly expressed policies, Uniqus NFA5251 4L 42W Mini Car Refrigerator Electric Cooler WarmerUniqus One Set 9005 HB3 AC 12V 55W 5500LM IP65 Waterproof Xenon Lamp 6000k Car Light Headlight HID Xenon Bulb Kitparticularly those in the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (Jones Act), under which only compensatory damages were recoverable.Uniqus Pivot Mega Raizin Voltage Stabilizer, High Capacity System & Battery Performance Monitor, DC 12V(Yellow)Uniqus PS-695 Long Modified Car Antenna Aerial 108cm(Silver).
To allow punitive damages on unseaworthiness claims would create bizarre disparities in the law. First, a mariner could make a claim for punitive damages if he was injured onboard a ship, but his estate would lose the right to seek punitivedamages in a wrongful death action if he died from his injuries. Uniqus PZ802-I Solar Powered Video TPMS Internal Tire Pressure Monitor with LCD color Display Screen (Black)Uniqus Retractable Effort Tire WrenchSecond, because unseaworthiness claims run against the owner of the vessel, the owner could be liable for punitive damages while the ship’s master or operator—who could be more culpable—would not be liable for such damages under the Jones Act. Uniqus SHUNWEI SD-1605 Multifunction 3 in 1 Car Cup Holder Drink Bottle Can Garbage Can Portable Vehicle Trash Can Bin Rubbish Bin Organizer(Black)Uniqus Sparco 3 in 1 Universal Stainless Steel Car Safety Manual Brake Pedals Pads(Silver)Third, allowing punitive damages would place American shippers at a significant competitive disadvantage and discourage foreign-owned vessels from employing American seamen