General Maritime Law (“GML”) applies to wrongful death claims of both maritime and non-maritime workers (i.e., cruise passengers, crew members and certain oil field workers) whose death results within territorial waters. The board certified maritime attorneys at the law firm of Brais Law Firm are in a unique position to protect the families of cruise ship passengers, crew members and certain oil field workers whose family member’s death occurred within territorial waters. The lawyers at the law firm of Brais Law Firm with offices in Miami, Florida and Boston, Massachusetts are here to serve the families of seamen, crew members and oil field workers as a result of an accident causing death.
“Moragne” Wrongful Death Claims
There are two general circumstances where the general maritime law (a/k/a “Moragne”) wrongful death claim applies:
- A personal representative’s claim on behalf of a longshore worker against a non-vessel third party tortfeasor; and
- A representative’s claim on behalf of passengers or other persons aboard a ship or aircraft whose death occurred within territorial waters.
State Law Supplementing GML
In Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. v. Calhoun, the Supreme Court held that state law remedies, including state statutory wrongful death and survival remedies, can supplement general maritime law if the death involves a non-seafarer (neither a seaman nor a longshoremen) who dies within territorial waters. In re Amtrak “Sunset Limited” Crash, limited the Yamaha’s decision by holding that even within territorial waters, state remedies may not supplement general maritime law wrongful death remedies if the non-seafarer’s death resulted from navigation of a commercial vessel.
As with many admiralty and maritime claims, the law governing the available damages of a non-seafarer within territorial waters is extremely complex thus, requiring your retention of experts in the field of admiralty and maritime law.
Obtain Help Today in the Complex Field of Maritime Law
The attorneys at the law firm of Brais Law Firm have the experience to protect your rights, the compassion to serve your needs, and the skill to obtain the compensation you deserve. To reach our lawyers you may click email the firm, call 800-499-0551 from within the U.S., call 305-416-2901 with Florida or click Contact Us to complete a form for a free evaluation of your case.