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.. ____ Dog Harness,Dog Vest,ARIKON No Pull Effect,Reflective Adjustable Strap,Lightweight,Breathable,Strong and Durable,Specially Designed for Large and MediumDog Harness,Pet Harness Adjustable Outdoor Pet Vest Reflective Oxford Material Vest for Dogs Easy Control for Small Medium Large Dogs,S(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, Dog Heating Pad Adjustable Temperature Waterproof Pet Bed Warmer with Chew Resistant Cord Soft Removable Cover Overheat Predection,BrownDog Helios Torrential Shield' Waterproof MultiAdjustable Full Bodied Pet Dog Windbreaker Raincoat, XLarge, Pinkparticularly those in the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (Jones Act), under which only compensatory damages were recoverable.Dog Hooded Raincoat, UltraLight Breathable 100% Waterproof Packable Outdoor Dog Poncho, Four Legs Rain Coats for Small Or Medium Dogs,SDog Hoodies Security Little Printed,Beard Hat Pet Apparel Dog Sweatshirt Warm Sweater,Cotton Jacket Coat Small,Medium Dog & Cat (XXL, Winered).
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. Dog House for Small Dogs Pineapple Shape Winter Warm Dog Bed,Pineapple,S38x38x45cmDog House Kennel Washable Dog Mattress BiteResistant NonStick Hair Cool Ice Pad Cat Mat,Red29cmSecond, 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. Dog House Pet Supplies Pet Nest Teddy golden Retriever Dog Bed Dog Mat Cat NestDog House Winter Plush Cat Nest Removable And Washable Dog golden Retriever Pet Pad Creative Pet Nest Dog Cushion WThird, allowing punitive damages would place American shippers at a significant competitive disadvantage and discourage foreign-owned vessels from employing American seamen