Who is a seaman?

September 02, 2009 @ 12:29 PM -- by

As a Brownsville Jones Act maritime lawyer, I understand what persons will be legally defined as "seamen".  The rights and remedies available to an employee against his employer and the vessel on which the employee is working are determined by the employee’s "status." The employee’s status may be (1) seaman, (2) a nonseaman maritime worker, or (3) a nonmaritime worker. Two of the seaman’s major claims-negligence against the employer and unseaworthiness against the vessel-are governed by tort principles. The other major claim, maintenance and cure, is similar to worker’s compensation but is governed not by statute, but by judicially developed principles of maritime law.