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Jones Act - Table of Contents
The Jones Act - Cases, Decisions and Opinions
I. IN GENERAL - C. Applicability to Foreign Ships, Seamen, and Occurrences - 3. Nationality or Ownership of Vessel - a. In General
55. Law of the flag
If law of flag is to control in action under 46 USCS Appx section 688, flag must not be one merely of convenience but should be bona fide. Southern Cross S.S. Co. v Firipis (1960, CA4 Va) 285 F2d 651, 84 ALR2d 895, cert den 365 US 869, 5 L Ed 2d 859, 81 S Ct 903 and (disagreed with Swain v Isthmian Lines, Inc. (CA3 Pa) 360 F2d 81 (disagreed with Chung, Yong Il v Overseas Navigation Co. (CA11 Ala) 774 F2d 1043, reh den, en banc (CA11 Ala) 779 F2d 60 and reh den, en banc (CA11 Ala) 779 F2d 60 and cert den (US) 90 L Ed 2d 346, 106 S Ct 1802)) and (disapproved on other grounds Griffin v Oceanic Contractors, Inc., 458 US 564, 73 L Ed 2d 973, 102 S Ct 3245, on remand (CA5 Tex) 685 F2d 139).
Law of flag would not be accorded controlling weight in determining 46 USCS Appx section 688 jurisdiction where vessel involved was drilling rig and not commercial sailing vessel. Phillips v Amoco Trinidad Oil Co. (1980, CA9 Cal) 632 F2d 82, cert den 451 US 920, 68 L Ed 2d 312, 101 S Ct 1999.
In case of injury to American seaman, occurring on foreign vessel on high seas, existence and nature of cause of action for alleged wrong is governed by law of country under which vessel is registered. The Oriskany (1933, DC Md) 3 F Supp 805.
One who engages to serve on board foreign ship necessarily undertakes to be bound by law of country to which ship belongs; jurisdiction of laws of flag nation accompany vessel not only over high seas but everywhere else it may be waterborne. Radovcic v The Princ Pavle (1942, DC NY) 45 F Supp 15.
Jones Act - TABLE OF CONTENTS
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In Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, No. 16-466 (June 19, 2017), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a state court does not generally have specific personal jurisdiction to entertain class-action claims by non-resident plaintiffs against a company headquartered outside of the forum state (here Bristol-Myers Squibb was not based in California). In future class action claims against nationwide corporate defendants, it appears that the U.S. Supreme Court is generally requiring piecemeal litigation in each state where a plaintiff was injured, instead of allowing for a single consolidated class action in a single state court lawsuit.