Jones Act Cases from Accident Lawyer Hawaii

Jones Act Cases - Seaman Cases, Decisions & Opinions

Honolulu Maritime & Ocean Injury Lawyer Bill Lawson

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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 - 5. Other Factors


82. Locus of employment contract and articles

Place of contracting is largely fortuitous and of little importance in determining applicable law in action of maritime tort. Romero v International Terminal Operating Co. (1959) 358 US 354, 3 L Ed 2d 368, 79 S Ct 468, reh den 359 US 962, 3 L Ed 2d 769, 79 S Ct 795.

Factors of ship's flag and seaman's nationality, fact that employment contract had been entered into in Greece and provided for adjudication in Greek court of all claims arising from contract, and fact that seaman might obtain relief in Greece constitute minor weights in scales compared with substantial and continuing contacts that resident alien owner has with United States. Hellenic Lines, Ltd. v Rhoditis (1970) 398 US 306, 26 L Ed 2d 252, 90 S Ct 1731, reh den 400 US 856, 27 L Ed 2d 94, 91 S Ct 23.

In determining applicability of 46 USCS Appx section 688, place where seaman signs on is of relatively little weight. Berendson v Rederiaktiebolaget Volo (1958, CA2 NY) 257 F2d 136, cert den 358 US 895, 3 L Ed 2d 121, 79 S Ct 156.

Place of contract does not have substantial influence on choice of law question where place of contract is unclear as where negotiations for first employment contract occur in United States, but later successor contracts are signed in Panama and Mexico. Jones v The Vessel Nair (1984, SD Cal) 586 F Supp 507, corrected (SD Cal) 612 F Supp 414.


83. --In United States

Alien seaman in service of foreign flag vessel owned by foreign interests, injured at foreign port or on high seas cannot receive benefits of 46 USCS Appx section 688 in American court although articles were signed in United States. Lauritzen v Larsen (1953) 345 US 571, 97 L Ed 1254, 73 S Ct 921.

Alien seaman who signed on in American port for voyage beginning and ending in American waters on foreign vessel can sue under 46 USCS Appx section 688. Kyriakos v Goulandris (1945, CA2 NY) 151 F2d 132.

46 USCS Appx section 688 does not provide cause of action for death of Honduran seaman killed in action off the coast of Japan on Norwegian flag ship, even if contract of employment was signed in port of New Orleans. Merren v A/S Borgestad (1975, CA5 La) 519 F2d 82.

In choosing between application of 46 USCS Appx section 688 and foreign law, factors of alleged wrongful acts taking place on high seas, ship in question flying flag of Panama, plaintiff being citizen of Panama, defendant being corporation organized under laws of Panama and plaintiff having available Panamanian law under which to sue, outweigh incident that seaman signed articles in United States. Rankin v Atlantic Maritime Co. (1853, DC NY) 117 F Supp 253.

46 USCS Appx section 688 applies to foreign seaman signing on foreign ship in American port. Neset v Christensen (1950, DC NY) 92 F Supp 78, 1950 AMC 1832; Tselentis v Michalinos Maritime & Commercial Co. (1952, DC NY) 104 F Supp 942.

Where plaintiff, British national who seeks redress against British corporation for alleged tort on British vessel, currently sails on vessel which calls regularly at British port, court will not exercise its admiralty jurisdiction to apply 46 USCS Appx section 688, even though plaintiff signed British shipping articles in New York. Smith v Furness, Withy & Co. (1953, DC NY) 119 F Supp 369.

Signing of articles in American port does not bring American law into case under 46 USCS Appx section 688. Mproumeriotis v Seacrest Shipping Co. (1957, DC NY) 149 F Supp 265.

Fact that ship's articles were signed in New York was not sufficient to give district court jurisdiction of suit by alien seaman against foreign ship line. Scognamiglio v Home Lines, Inc. (1965, SD NY) 246 F Supp 605, 1966 AMC 223.

46 USCS Appx section 688 does not apply to Cuban national filing suit in Florida for injuries sustained in foreign waters while in employ of foreign corporation on board vessel flying foreign flag where only factor apparent upon which application of 46 USCS Appx section 688 could be had was signing of contract or employment in Florida. Corella v McCormick Shipping Corp. (1958, Fla App D3) 101 So 2d 903.

American seaman sustaining injuries on board German vessel on high seas must look to German law for relief rather than 46 USCS Appx section 688, since German laws afford remedy which is exclusive, even though articles of shipping were signed in New York City. Hogan v Hamburg American Line (1934) 152 Misc 405, 272 NYS 690, cert den 295 US 749, 79 L Ed 1693, 55 S Ct 827.


84. --Foreign locus

Action under 46 USCS Appx section 688 for injuries sustained on ship flying Honduras flag could be maintained where it appeared that only contacts ship had with Honduras were flag and articles, in that ship was owned by Liberian corporation, all stock of which was owned by Greek and American citizens, orders directing movements of vessel came partly from American and partly from Greek owners, members of crew were residents of Greece, except for two residents of United States, injury occurred in American port, and vessel had never, in any of its voyages, visited Hondurian port. Southern Cross S.S. Co. v Firipis (1960, CA4 Va) 285 F2d 651, 84 ALR2d 895, 1961 AMC 621, 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).

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is inapplicable to suit by Greek seaman for injuries sustained aboard Greek vessel in Port of New Orleans where he signed his employment contract in Greece and signed his articles of service in Germany. Yohanes v Ayers S.S. Co. (1971, CA5 La) 451 F2d 349, cert den 406 US 919, 32 L Ed 2d 118, 92 S Ct 1771.

United States law does not apply to Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) action by American citizen arising out of accident that occurred on high seas, where vessel was Mexican and was based in Mexico, vessel owners and shareholders were Mexican citizens and residents, it is not unduly onerous for American citizen to make return trip to Mexico, and written contract was made in Mexico. Bilyk v Vessel Nair (1985, CA9 Cal) 754 F2d 1541.

46 USCS Appx section 688 is inapplicable to suit by crewmembers of tank vessel which suffered explosions and fire while tied up at Pennsylvania refinery where vessel was Greek vessel, none of crew members or officers were American citizens, all crew members signed employment contracts in Greece which provided for exclusive jurisdiction of Greek courts, and there was no ownership or interest in vessel by U.S. citizen or resident; place of wrongful act is of minor importance in determining law governing suit by foreign seaman against foreign shipowner. Re Lidoriki Maritime Corp. (1975, ED Pa) 404 F Supp 1402.

United States law was not applicable to action brought by representative of deceased seaman, notwithstanding that vessel was owned by Panamanian corporation which was wholly owned subsidiary of United States corporation, where (1) injury occurred either on high seas or in port of Honduras or Costa Rica, (2) seaman was Panamanian citizen who executed employment contract in Panama, (3) there was no evidence that Panamanian corporation was "facade" to enable United States corporation to avoid its obligations under United States maritime law, and (4) plaintiff, who was also citizen and resident of Panama, had already sued in Panama on same claim and had had that claim fully adjudicated; action would be dismissed on basis of forum non conveniens. De Mateos v Texaco Panama, Inc. (1976, ED Pa) 417 F Supp 411, affd (CA3 Pa) 562 F2d 895, cert den 435 US 904, 55 L Ed 2d 494, 98 S Ct 1449.


85. --Articles and contract signed in different locations

Although Greek seaman signed articles of service in Virginia, Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is inapplicable to suit by his administrator for his death on high seas aboard Liberian registered and Greek owned ship, since seaman also signed employment contract in Greece, and only significant American contact was fact that one of places of contract was United States. Fitzgerald v Liberian S/T Chryssi P. Goulandris (1978, CA4 Va) 582 F2d 312.


86. Contractual choice of foreign law

Danish seaman, joining ship of Danish registry and flag while in New York, and who was injured in Cuba, cannot sue under 46 USCS Appx section 688, especially where contract of employment was explicit that Danish law was to apply to such contract, since except as forbidden by some public policy, tendency of law is to apply in contract matters law which parties intended to apply. Lauritzen v Larsen (1953) 345 US 571, 97 L Ed 1254, 73 S Ct 921.

Factors of ship's flag and seaman's nationality, fact that employment contract had been entered into in Greece and provided for adjudication in Greek court of all claims arising from contract, and fact that seaman might obtain relief in Greece constitute minor weights in scales compared with substantial and continuing contacts that resident alien owner has with United States. Hellenic Lines, Ltd. v Rhoditis (1970) 398 US 306, 26 L Ed 2d 252, 90 S Ct 1731, reh den 400 US 856, 27 L Ed 2d 94, 91 S Ct 23.

Provision in employment contract seeking to preclude spanish citizen from suing for injuries in United States, where defendant will be Panamanian corporation owning vessel of Panamanian registry, is held invalid. Greenberg v Panama Transp. Co. (1960, DC Mass) 185 F Supp 320, vacated on other grounds (CA1 Mass) 290 F2d 125, cert den 368 US 891, 7 L Ed 2d 88, 82 S Ct 143.

Shipowner and its managing agent can not avoid their duties under law of United States by contracting for application of Greek law, at least with respect to any right Greek seaman had under 46 USCS Appx section 688. Pavlou v Ocean Traders Marine Corp. (1962, SD NY) 211 F Supp 320, 1962 AMC 2133.

Employment contract signed by Greek seaman agreeing to look solely to Greek law and Greek courts is fully valid and American contacts must be substantial before court will declare such agreement void as against public policy. Brillis v Chandris (U.S.A) Inc. (1963, SD NY) 215 F Supp 520.

Shipping articles, written in English and Greek languages, which provide for applicability of Greek law, constitute factor to be considered in determining choice of law. Kontos v S.S. Sophie C. (1964, ED Pa) 236 F Supp 664 (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)).

Where Egyptian seaman seeks to sue under 46 USCS Appx section 688 for injuries suffered in New York and Venezuela on board Norwegian vessel, fact that employment articles called for application of Norwegian law, although not decisive and not working waiver of any rights belonging to libelant, is at least some confirming evidence of applicable law in case. Shahid v A/S J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi (1964, SD NY) 236 F Supp 751.

Stipulation by parties that law of flag, Liberia, controlled in libel action, excluded all rights and remedies granted under 46 USCS Appx section 688. Koleris v S.S. Good Hope (1965, ED Va) 241 F Supp 967 (disapproved on other grounds Waldron v Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc. 386 US 724, 18 L Ed 2d 482, 87 S Ct 1410).

Fact that articles of service provide for rights of British West Indian seaman to be governed by laws of Liberia is viewed as merely one of mechanics of overall scheme by shipowner to evade consequences of Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688). Groves v Universe Tankships, Inc. (1970, SD NY) 308 F Supp 826.

Contractual choice of law clause which adopts law of flag state as governing law between parties to contract may be properly invoked in instances of personal injury claims except when to do so would act to avoid application of other, more naturally applicable law; choice of law clause in contract will not be found controlling if to do so would serve to oust otherwise applicable law in favor of flag-state law in instance where flag is merely one of convenience. Pandazopoulos v Universal Cruise Line, Inc. (1973, SD NY) 365 F Supp 208.

Fact that decedent, Greek seaman, joined crew of vessel in Greece and agreed that any claim arising out of his employment would be settled according to Greek law, deserves weight in deciding whether 46 USCS Appx section 688 or foreign law applies. Xerakis v Greek Line, Inc. (1974, ED Pa) 382 F Supp 774.

Filipino seaman's Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) claim is dismissed, even though court has profound reservations about wisdom of enforcing forum-selection clauses in maritime employment contracts, because seaman was working under contract referencing valid clause directing disputes to Phillipines forum and, at any rate, seaman has apparently settled all his claims. Sabocuhan v Geco-Prakla (1999, SD Tex) 78 F Supp 2d 603.


87. --All contacts foreign

Foreign law, and not Jones Act, was applicable to claim of wife and children of Philippine seaman who drowned off Saudi Arabia where (a) injury did not occur in navigable waters off either Philippines or United States; (b) vessel flew flag of Panama; (c) decedent was both citizen and domiciliary of the Philippines; (d) application of United States law not required where only contact with United States was American ownership or control of business venture; (e) decedent's employment contract provided for application of Philippine law; (f) American shipowners waived jurisdictional, venue, and statute of limitation defenses in event wife and children asserted claim in Philippines; (g) vessel's base of operations was limited to coastal waters off Saudi Arabia, and (h) vessel was not earning income from cargo originating or terminating in United States. Villar v Crowley Maritime Corp. (1986, CA9 Cal) 782 F2d 1478.

46 USCS Appx section 688 and general maritime law of United States do not apply to action by Greek seaman who has signed employment agreement in Greece providing that his rights shall be governed by Greek law and enforceable only in Greek courts. Karakatsanis v Conquestador Cia. Nav., S. A. (1965, SD NY) 247 F Supp 423; Damaskinos v Societa Navigacion Interamericana S. A., Panama (1966, SD NY) 255 F Supp 919.

46 USCS Appx section 688 is inapplicable to suit by crewmembers of tank vessel which suffered explosions and fire while tied up at Pennsylvania refinery where vessel was Greek vessel, none of crew members or officers were American citizens, all crew members signed employment contracts in Greece which provided for exclusive jurisdiction of Greek courts, and there was no ownership or interest in vessel by U.S. citizen or resident. Re Lidoriki Maritime Corp. (1975, ED Pa) 404 F Supp 1402.


88. --American ownership

Citizen of Poland, but resident of United States, was injured in Panama while working as seaman on vessel of Honduran registry owned by Honduran company, all of whose stock was owned by United States company; effect was given to nationality of actual control of ship so that seaman could maintain action for injuries under 46 USCS Appx section 688 despite fact he had signed articles reciting that all rights and obligations were governed exclusively by laws of Republic of Honduras. Zielinski v Empresa Hondurena De Vapores (1953, DC NY) 113 F Supp 93.

Court would not apply Venezuelan law to deprive United States citizen of relief under 46 USCS Appx section 688 against United States corporation shipowner even though injury occurred in Venezuelan waters and parties were engaged in a local enterprise (dredging harbor at Maracaibo Bay) and employment contract provided that employee would receive certain benefits of Venezuelan law. Farmer v Standard Dredging Corp. (1958, DC Del) 167 F Supp 381.

46 USCS Appx section 688 was applicable where Greek national signed employment contract in Greece and shipping articles in England (both contract and articles providing that his rights were to be determined by Greek law and courts), for service on Liberian flag ship owned by Panamanian corporation, all of whose stock was owned by United States citizen, and seaman was injured while on ship in United States port. Voyiatzis v National Shipping & Trading Corp. (1961, SD NY) 199 F Supp 920, 1962 AMC 2043.


89. --Voyage to or from United States

Greek law, not 46 USCS Appx section 688, was applicable in plaintiff-seaman's action where plaintiff signed employment contract in Greece, contract provided that dispute between parties would be resolved by Greek law, plaintiff was injured aboard vessel while it was on "high seas" en route to Virginia, corporation owning vessel was Panamanian controlled by Greek national having no contact with the United States, and vessel flew "flag of Greece." Sfiridas v Santa Cecelia Co., S.A. (1973, ED Pa) 358 F Supp 108, affd without op (CA3 Pa) 493 F2d 1401.

Plaintiff could not file complaint for damages under 46 USCS Appx section 688 where record reflected that: Plaintiff was citizen and domiciliary of Spain; contract of employment was signed in Spain and was written in spanish and Norwegian; contract provided that plaintiff's rights and obligations were those under Norwegian law; plaintiff was receiving benefits in accord therewith; defendant was Norwegian corporation and ship, upon which plaintiff was employed, was of Norwegian flag and registry; accident occurred on High Seas off coast of Bahamas; and plaintiff's only contact with United States was upon ship's arrival in port to pick up passengers and supplies. Valverde v Klosters Rederi A/S (1974, Fla App D3) 294 So 2d 101.


90. --American business contacts

Jurisdiction under Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) was properly denied to widow seeking to recover from employer of husband who died on employer's ship, where, although employer had American contracts and husband died while ship was berthed at American port, parties were Greek, ship was of Greek registry, and Greek law governed contracts. Dracos v Hellenic Lines, Ltd. (1983, CA4 Va) 705 F2d 1392, on reh, en banc (CA4 Va) 762 F2d 348, cert den (US) 88 L Ed 2d 288, 106 S Ct 311.

Jones Act did not govern dispute between spanish seaman and Liberian corporations that owned Liberian flagship, arising out of injuries seaman received from Japanese-manufactured device while ship was off coast of Thailand, where employment contract, which was executed in Spain, provided that all disputes would be subject to law of flag and vessel only rarely called on American port, notwithstanding fact that Liberian owners' main office and base of operations was located in United States. Pereira v Utah Transport, Inc. (1985, CA9 Cal) 764 F2d 686, cert dismd (US) 89 L Ed 2d 362, 106 S Ct 1253.

District Court's determination that suit by spanish national who was injured aboard ship flying Liberian flag is governed by Liberian Law and not by Jones Act is proper, notwithstanding that base of operations of Liberian corporations which owned vessel is San Francisco, since (1) vessel flew Liberian flag, (2) law of flag is of cardinal importance, (3) contract provided that law of flag would apply, (4) vessel, which was off coast of Thailand at time plaintiff was injured, rarely called on American port, and (5) District Court reasonably concluded that spanish forum was readily accessible to plaintiff. Pereira v Utah Transport, Inc. (1985, CA9 Cal) 764 F2d 686, cert dismd (US) 89 L Ed 2d 362, 106 S Ct 1253.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) applies to Syrian seaman's personal injury claim, notwithstanding Greek registry of ship, Liberian ownership, contract in Greek providing for Greek law to apply, and availability of foreign forum, where accident occurred in United States waters and ship had substantial and continuous business contact with United States. Dalla v Atlas Maritime Co. (1983, CD Cal) 562 F Supp 752, affd (CA9 Cal) 771 F2d 1277.


91. --Other American contacts

Where Greek seaman injured on Panamanian vessel flying Liberian flag had signed employment contract providing that terms and conditions of work were to be governed by Greek law, and only contacts with United States were seaman's brief stay in Alaskan hospital, New York domicile of vessel's former agent and New York residence of president of vessel's current New York area agent, federal court did not have jurisdiction to hear seaman's claims under 46 USCS Appx section 688 and general maritime law. Mihalinos v Liberian S.S. Trikala (1972, SD Cal) 342 F Supp 1237.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is inapplicable to Greek seaman's suit for injuries sustained in port of Mobile, Alabama, aboard Greek registered and Panamanian owned ship on grounds that articles of service signed by seaman in Greece provide for resort to Greek forum for resolution of disputes regarding rights and liabilities of parties arising from employment relationship. Dorizos v Lemos & Pateras, Ltd. (1977, SD Ala) 437 F Supp 120.


92. Origin and destination of voyage

Regular or frequent visits to American ports are by themselves insufficient basis to warrant application of Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688). Lauritzen v Larsen (1953) 345 US 571, 97 L Ed 1254, 73 S Ct 921; Puig v Royal Norwegian Government (1947, DC NY) 72 F Supp 69; Hazell v Booth S.S. Co. (1977, SD NY) 444 F Supp 85.

Absence of American port calls is factor supporting conclusion that Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is inapplicable where vessel aboard which seaman is injured visits no American ports. Frangiskatos v Konkar Maritime Enterprises, S. A. (1972, CA2 NY) 471 F2d 714; Hoidas v Orion & Global Chartering Co. (1977, SD NY) 440 F Supp 53; De Mateos v Texaco, Inc. (1977, CA3 Pa) 562 F2d 895, cert den 435 US 904, 55 L Ed 2d 494, 98 S Ct 1449.

Fact that vessel makes regular or frequent visits to American ports of call is significant factor in determining that Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is applicable to suits brought by injured seamen. Moncada v Lemuria Shipping Corp. (1974, CA2 NY) 491 F2d 470, cert den 417 US 947, 41 L Ed 2d 667, 94 S Ct 3072 and (disagreed with De Mateos v Texaco, Inc. (CA3 Pa) 562 F2d 895, cert den 435 US 904, 55 L Ed 2d 494, 98 S Ct 1449) and (disagreed with Chiazor v Transworld Drilling Co. (CA5 La) 648 F2d 1015, reh den (CA5 La) 659 F2d 1075 and cert den 455 US 1019, 72 L Ed 2d 136, 102 S Ct 1714) as stated in Vaz Borralho v Keydril Co. (CA5 Tex) 696 F2d 379, reh den (CA5 Tex) 710 F2d 207 and (disagreed with Tallentire v Offshore Logistics, Inc. (CA5 La) 754 F2d 1274, revd on other grounds (US) 91 L Ed 2d 174, 106 S Ct 2485); 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); Dalla v Atlas Maritime Co. (1983, CD Cal) 562 F Supp 752, affd (CA9 Cal) 771 F2d 1277.

Although absence of American port calls by vessel on which injury occurs generally may be regarded as factor opposing applicability of Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) to seaman's action for redress of injury, such calls are not absolutely essential to applicability of act, and act is applicable despite fact that vessel visited no American ports of call. Antypas v Cia. Maritima San Basilio, S. A. (1976, CA2 NY) 541 F2d 307, cert den 429 US 1098, 51 L Ed 2d 545, 97 S Ct 1116 and (disagreed with De Mateos v Texaco, Inc. (CA3 Pa) 562 F2d 895, cert den 435 US 904, 55 L Ed 2d 494, 98 S Ct 1449) and (disagreed with Chiazor v Transworld Drilling Co. (CA5 La) 648 F2d 1015, reh den (CA5 La) 659 F2d 1075 and cert den 455 US 1019, 72 L Ed 2d 136, 102 S Ct 1714) as stated in Vaz Borralho v Keydril Co. (CA5 Tex) 696 F2d 379, reh den (CA5 Tex) 710 F2d 207 and and (disagreed with Tallentire v Offshore Logistics, Inc. (CA5 La) 754 F2d 1274, revd on other grounds (US) 91 L Ed 2d 174, 106 S Ct 2485) and (disagreed with Cruz v Maritime Co. of Philippines (CA2 NY) 702 F2d 47 (disagreed with Pereira v Utah Transport, Inc. (CA9 Cal) 764 F2d 686, cert dismd (US) 89 L Ed 2d 362, 106 S Ct 1253)).


93. --Foreign ports

Where alien seaman on coming to this country in 1924, declared his intention of becoming citizen in 1925, and although residing here for 20 years had never been naturalized, his widow, as his administratrix could not sue alien corporation under 46 USCS Appx section 688 to recover damages resulting from his death from injuries occurring on high seas between foreign ports in one of which he signed articles. O'Neill v Cunard White Star, Ltd. (1947, CA2 NY) 160 F2d 446, 1947 AMC 505, cert den 332 US 773, 92 L Ed 358, 68 S Ct 56.

Cuban citizen, employed as fireman on vessel, who was injured while vessel was on high seas on voyage between England and Belgium, could not recover under 46 USCS Appx section 688. Puig v Royal Norwegian Government (1947, DC NY) 72 F Supp 69.


94. --Foreign round trip touching American port or injury occurring in American port

Maritime law of United States, including 46 USCS Appx section 688, may not be applied in action involving injury sustained in American port by foreign seaman on board foreign vessel in course of voyage beginning and ending in foreign country. Romero v International Terminal Operating Co. (1959) 358 US 354, 3 L Ed 2d 368, 79 S Ct 468, reh den 359 US 962, 3 L Ed 2d 769, 79 S Ct 795.

Maryland federal District Court had constitutional jurisdiction over action under 46 USCS Appx section 688 brought by Greek national injured in Maryland port against tramp steamer with no scheduled route owned by Panamanian corporation and registered under Greek flag, which vessel had been in Maryland ports on six occasions during nine-year period. Gkiafis v S.S. Yiosonas (1965, CA4 Md) 342 F2d 546, 1965 AMC 1411, on remand (DC Md) 254 F Supp 825, affd in part and revd in part on other grounds (CA4 Md) 387 F2d 460.

Foreign national hired for trip on British ship, which started in British port and ended in British port, could not sue under 46 USCS Appx section 688 for damages, even though ship spent large part of its time in United States port. Catherall v Cunard S.S. Co. (1951, DC NY) 101 F Supp 230.

Citizen of Norway, who shipped on Norwegian ship in Antwerp, Belgium, for voyage ending in foreign port, could not maintain 46 USCS Appx section 688 action to recover damages as result of fall from ship to pier in American port. Lunde v Skibs A. S. Herstein (1952, DC NY) 103 F Supp 446.

Citizen of Sweden who signed on Swedish ship for voyage to United States could not sue for damages incurred on vessel while on coastwise run between New York and Jacksonville. Johansson v O. F. Ahlmark & Co. (1952, DC NY) 107 F Supp 70.

Fact that foreign ship voyaged between certain foreign ports and American ports, including New York, forum state, is insufficient to confer jurisdiction under 46 USCS Appx section 688. Agrio v Oceanic Operations Corp. (1961, SD NY) 204 F Supp 10.

In 46 USCS Appx section 688 action involving an injury sustained in American port by foreign seaman aboard foreign vessel in course of voyage beginning and ending in foreign country, appropriate course is for federal district court to deny section 688 claim on merits, but this denial of section 688 claim on merits leaves court free to consider whether, with due regard to doctrine of forum non conveniens, it should take jurisdiction and apply relevant foreign law. Volkenburg v Nederland-Amerik. Stoomv. Maats (1963, DC Mass) 221 F Supp 925, 1964 AMC 53, affd (CA1 Mass) 336 F2d 480, 8 FR Serv 2d 34.13, Case 12, 1964 AMC 1958.


95. --American ports

In 46 USCS Appx section 688 action, alien seaman who had been domiciled in United States for over 20 years, during greater part of which time he had served on American ships, and who was injured on voyage begun and ended in United States, nearly all of which was in territorial waters of United States, filed libel in rem against the vessel of foreign registry to recover for such injuries which was properly dismissed; however, since libel in personam against owner of vessel stated good claim it should have been tried on its merits. Gambera v Bergoty (1942, CA2 NY) 132 F2d 414, 1043 AMC 45, cert den 319 US 742, 87 L Ed 1699, 63 S Ct 1030.

Alien seaman who signed on foreign ship in American port for voyage beginning and ending in American waters can sue under 46 USCS Appx section 688. Kyriakos v Goulandris (1945, CA2 NY) 151 F2d 132.

District Court had no discretionary power to refuse to adjudicate case brought under 46 USCS Appx section 688 by alien seaman, assaulted within territorial waters of United States, aboard ship flying Liberian flag, owned by Liberian corporation which was wholly owned by Panamanian corporation, all stock in which was owned by United States citizens, on voyage from Baltimore to Philadelphia, articles for which were signed in Baltimore, and where seaman had signed declaration of intention to become United States citizen few months after assault. Bartholomew v Universe Tankships, Inc. (1959, CA2 NY) 263 F2d 437, 1959 AMC 273, 1 FR Serv 2d 621, cert den 359 US 1000, 3 L Ed 2d 1030, 79 S Ct 1138 and (disagreed with De Mateos v Texaco, Inc. (CA3 Pa) 562 F2d 895, cert den 435 US 904, 55 L Ed 2d 494, 98 S Ct 1449) and (disagreed with Chiazor v Transworld Drilling Co. (CA5 La) 648 F2d 1015, reh den (CA5 La) 659 F2d 1075 and cert den 455 US 1019, 72 L Ed 2d 136, 102 S Ct 1714) as stated in Vaz Borralho v Keydril Co. (CA5 Tex) 696 F2d 379, reh den (CA5 Tex) 710 F2d 207 and (disagreed with Tallentire v Offshore Logistics, Inc. (CA5 La) 754 F2d 1274, revd on other grounds (US) 91 L Ed 2d 174, 106 S Ct 2485).

District Court had jurisdiction of action brought by foreign seamen for injuries sustained aboard foreign ship at sea, where plaintiffs shipped from San Francisco for round voyage and ship was being operated by American citizens, residents of San Francisco. The Sinaloa (1923, DC Cal) 292 F 640.


96. Base of operations

In determining whether 46 USCS Appx section 688 is applicable, shipowner's base of operations is factor of importance. Hellenic Lines, Ltd. v Rhoditis (1970) 398 US 306, 26 L Ed 2d 252, 90 S Ct 1731, reh den 400 US 856, 27 L Ed 2d 94, 91 S Ct 23.

Base of operation of defendant is significant factor in choice of law context; American base of operations can be sufficient to support application of American law. Koke v Phillips Petroleum Co. (1984, CA5 Tex) 730 F2d 211.

Vessel on which injury occurred has base of operations in United States if it has substantial and continuing contact with United States; such contacts cannot be defined so loosely that every alien seaman injured in United States territorial waters has right to bring action against his alien employer in American courts, nor so rigidly that alien owner engaged in extensive business operation in this country may have advantage over citizens engaged in same business by allowing him to escape obligations of Jones Act employer. Dalla v Atlas Maritime Co. (1985, CA9 Cal) 771 F2d 1277.

Foreign seaman, injured on high seas in foreign flag ship owned by foreign interests may sue under 46 USCS Appx section 688, if vessel has substantial American business contacts. Mattes v National Hellenic American Line, S. A. (1977, SD NY) 427 F Supp 619.

Base of operations found to be in United States is factor supporting applicability of Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688). Dalla v Atlas Maritime Co. (1983, CD Cal) 562 F Supp 752, affd (CA9 Cal) 771 F2d 1277.


97. –Foreign

Seaman's claim under 46 USCS Appx section 688 was properly dismissed by District Court where (1) seaman was citizen and resident of Greece who executed his contract of employment there, (2) ship flew Liberian flag and was owned by Liberian corporation with principal place of business and "base of operations" in Greece, all of whose shares were owned by Greek citizens and residents, (3) shipowner was amenable to suit in Greece, (4) all crew members on duty at time of alleged accident were alien seamen, and (5) vessel involved was only vessel owned by shipowner; fact that seaman's injuries occurred off coast of United States was purely fortuitous and factor of minimal importance which, standing alone, was not substantial contact with United States. Koupetoris v Konkar Intrepid Corp. (1976, CA2 NY) 535 F2d 1392.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is inapplicable where shipowner has foreign base of operations. Hoidas v Orion & Global Chartering Co. (1977, SD NY) 440 F Supp 53; Chirinos de Alvarez v Creole Petroleum Corp. (1980, CA3 Del) 613 F2d 1240.


98. --Principal place of business in United States

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is inapplicable despite maintenance by shipowners of principal places of business in United States. Filippou v Italia Societa per Azioni di Navizione (1966, DC Mass) 254 F Supp 162.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is applicable where it is found that shipowner maintains principal place of business in United States. Mpiliris v Hellenic Lines, Ltd. (1969, DC Tex) 323 F Supp 865, affd (CA5 Tex) 440 F2d 1163.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is applicable on basis of shipowners' maintenance, through parent corporation, of bases of operations or principal places of business in United States. Groves v Universe Tankships, Inc. (1970, SD NY) 308 F Supp 826; Rode v Sedco, Inc. (1975, ED Tex) 394 F Supp 206; Castanho v Jackson Marine, Inc. (1980, ED Tex) 484 F Supp 201, affd in part and app dismd in part (CA5 Tex) 650 F2d 546, reh den (CA5 Tex) 656 F2d 700 and reh den (CA5 Tex) 656 F2d 700.


99. --American revenues

District Court erred in failing to apply 46 USCS Appx section 688 to action by Greek seaman for injuries allegedly sustained while vessel was on high seas where (1) at least some of stockholders of vessel owner were American citizens, (2) vessel was operating on liner service conducted by New York corporation and vessel was under direct control of that corporation and (3) earnings from vessel appeared to be collected in New York and expenses of vessel paid from New York; such contacts were substantial and predominated over such factors as ship's flag, place of incorporation of shipowner, and seaman's nationality. Antypas v Cia. Maritima San Basilio, S. A. (1976, CA2 NY) 541 F2d 307, cert den 429 US 1098, 51 L Ed 2d 545, 97 S Ct 1116, and (disagreed with De Mateos v Texaco, Inc. (CA3 Pa) 562 F2d 895, cert den 435 US 904, 55 L Ed 2d 494, 98 S Ct 1449) and (disagreed with Chiazor v Transworld Drilling Co. (CA5 La) 648 F2d 1015, reh den (CA5 La) 659 F2d 1075 and cert den 455 US 1019, 72 L Ed 2d 136, 102 S Ct 1714) as stated in Vaz Borralho v Keydril Co. (CA5 Tex) 696 F2d 379, reh den (CA5 Tex) 710 F2d 207 and (disagreed with Tallentire v Offshore Logistics, Inc. (CA5 La) 754 F2d 1274, revd on other grounds (US) 91 L Ed 2d 174, 106 S Ct 2485) and (disagreed with Cruz v Maritime Co. of Philippines (CA2 NY) 702 F2d 47 (disagreed with Pereira v Utah Transport, Inc. (CA9 Cal) 764 F2d 686, cert dismd (US) 89 L Ed 2d 362, 106 S Ct 1253)).

Jurisdiction under 46 USCS Appx section 688 existed in action for wrongful death of foreign seaman in accident in United States port, where vessel had substantial base of operations in United States and owners derived substantial revenues from United States trade, even though ship flew Greek flag, had Greek registry, and seaman was of Greek nationality and had signed his employment contract in Greece. Fisher v The Agios Nicolaos V (1980, CA5 Tex) 628 F2d 308, 68 ALR Fed 342, reh den (CA5 Tex) 636 F2d 1107 and cert den 454 US 816, 70 L Ed 2d 84, 102 S Ct 92, reh den 454 US 1129, 71 L Ed 2d 117, 102 S Ct 982.

Jones Act is applicable to injury suffered by seaman while working aboard ship in New Jersey port notwithstanding that seaman and vessel are Greek, that vessel's owner and charterer have principal places of business in Greece, and that seaman's articles of employment are Greek and call for resolution of all disputes arising out of his employment in Greek courts, where to significant extent vessel was managed from New York during 15 months preceding seaman's injury and earned substantial income from cargo originating in or bound for United States, and individuals who owned corporations which owned and chartered vessel had some direct involvement in management of business ventures from American shores. Karvelis v Constellation Lines SA (1985, SD NY) 608 F Supp 966.


100. --American agent

In determining Columbian shipowner's base of operations for purposes of jurisdiction of District Court to entertain complaint under Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) to recover damages for injuries caused by shipowner's alleged negligence, fact that shipowner has agents in United States to husband its vessels while in American ports is of no significance. Rodriguez v Flota Mercante Grancolombiana, S.A. (1983, CA9 Cal) 703 F2d 1069, cert den 464 US 820, 78 L Ed 2d 94, 104 S Ct 84.

Where Greek seaman injured on Panamanian vessel flying Liberian flag had signed employment contract providing that terms and conditions of work were to be governed by Greek law, and only contacts with United States were seaman's brief stay in Alaskan hospital, New York domicile of vessel's former agent and New York residence of president of vessel's current New York area agent, federal court did not have jurisdiction to hear seaman's claims under 46 USCS Appx section 688 and general maritime law. Mihalinos v Liberian S.S. Trikala (1972, SD Cal) 342 F Supp 1237.

46 USCS Appx section 688 was not applicable to action by Philippine seamen for injuries allegedly sustained by them aboard Norwegian vessel in Lake Michigan, notwithstanding that managing owner of vessel owned or controlled United States corporation which acted as its general agent in United States, neither mere use nor mere ownership of agent in United States by shipowner suggested that shipowner's base of operations was in United States, and extension of base of operations doctrine to enterprise whose link to United States was that tenuous was not warranted. Manlugon v A/S Facto (1976, SD NY) 419 F Supp 550.

In action by injured seaman under Jones Act against his employer, foreign law, rather than American law, applied, notwithstanding seaman became American resident after he was injured, where place of wrongful act was aboard vessel in Persian Gulf; law of flag was Kuwait; allegiance of injured party was Sierra Leone; allegiance of shipowner was Kuwait; place of contract was Sierra Leone; both Sierra Leonian and Kuwaiti courts were available; law of forum was inapplicable since defendant was involuntarily made a party; and where defendant did not have American base of operations in that it maintained no office or representative in United States and managed daily operations of its vessel from its offices in Kuwait and England, notwithstanding it used agent in United States, made calls on United States ports, and amount of income earned from visits of its vessels to United States was only 14 percent of its total earnings. Pratt v United Arab Shipping Co. (1984, ED La) 585 F Supp 1573.


101. --Other American business contacts

46 USCS Appx section 688 jurisdiction existed with respect to action brought for wrongful death of Honduran seaman as to owner of vessel where all of stock of corporation owning vessel was owned by Americans, managing and chartering agents for vessel had their base of operations in United States, and managing and chartering of vessel was conducted in United States. Moncada v Lemuria Shipping Corp. (1974, CA2 NY) 491 F2d 470, cert den 417 US 947, 41 L Ed 2d 667, 94 S Ct 3072 and (disagreed with De Mateos v Texaco, Inc. (CA3 Pa) 562 F2d 895, cert den 435 US 904, 55 L Ed 2d 494, 98 S Ct 1449) and (disagreed with Chiazor v Transworld Drilling Co. (CA5 La) 648 F2d 1015, reh den (CA5 La) 659 F2d 1075 and cert den 455 US 1019, 72 L Ed 2d 136, 102 S Ct 1714) as stated in Vaz Borralho v Keydril Co. (CA5 Tex) 696 F2d 379, reh den (CA5 Tex) 710 F2d 207 and (disagreed with Tallentire v Offshore Logistics, Inc. (CA5 La) 754 F2d 1274, revd on other grounds (US) 91 L Ed 2d 174, 106 S Ct 2485).

Jones Act does not apply to accident sustained in Norway by spanish citizen hired in Spain by Panamanian corporation using vessel flying Panamanian flag, although beneficial ownership and base of operations was in United States. Fajardo v Tidewater, Inc. (1983, CA5 La) 707 F2d 858.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is applicable where shipowner maintains base of operations in United States since corporate shipowner is found to have delegated business operations within United States to American corporations. Pavlou v Ocean Traders Marine Corp. (1962, SD NY) 211 F Supp 320.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) and general maritime law of U.S. govern personal injury claim of Nicaraguan sailor, injured aboard vessel shrimping in waters off shore of Nicaragua, because vessel was flying U.S. flag at time of accident, real base of shrimping operation is U.S., and operation is primarily financed by U.S. government agencies. Mijimaya Zacaria v Gulf King 35, Inc. (1999, SD Tex) 31 F Supp 2d 560.


102. Adequacy of foreign remedy

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is applicable in cases where no adequate remedy is available to injured seaman under foreign law. Heredia v Davies (1926, CA4 Va) 12 F2d 500; The Fletero v Arias (1953, CA4 Va) 206 F2d 267, cert den 346 US 897, 98 L Ed 398, 74 S Ct 220; Symonette Shipyards, Ltd. v Clark (1966, CA5 Fla) 365 F2d 464, cert den 387 US 908, 18 L Ed 2d 625, 87 S Ct 1690; Castanho v Jackson Marine, Inc. (1980, ED Tex) 484 F Supp 201, affd in part and app dismd in part (CA5 Tex) 650 F2d 546, reh den (CA5 Tex) 656 F2d 700 and reh den (CA5 Tex) 656 F2d 700.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is not applicable where injured seaman has available to him adequate remedy under foreign law in form of worker's compensation. Radovcic v The Princ Pavle (1942, DC NY) 45 F Supp 15.

Adequacy of foreign remedy is not to be determined by comparison to more liberal benefits available under Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688). Nakken v Fearnley & Eger (1955, DC NY) 137 F Supp 288; Rivadeneira v Skibs A/S (1973, SD NY) 353 F Supp 1382; Chirinos de Alvarez v Creole Petroleum Corp. (1980, CA3 Del) 613 F2d 1240.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is inapplicable where adequate foreign remedy is available to injured seaman. Markakis v Liberian S/S The Mparmpa Christos (1958, DC NY) 161 F Supp 487; Rivadeneira v Skibs A/S (1973, SD NY) 353 F Supp 1382; The Lynghaug (1941, DC Pa) 42 F Supp 713.

British electrician injured while working on drilling platform located off coast of India has no cause of action under Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688(b)), because plaintiff has failed to show that he has no remedy under laws of India or United Kingdom. Brown v Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (1988, MD La) 676 F Supp 720.


103. --Availability of foreign forum

Inaccessibility of foreign forum might be compelling reason for exercising discretionary jurisdiction to adjudge controversy, but it is not persuasive as to coverage of 46 USCS Appx section 688 since jurisdiction under statute is matter of law and not discretion. Lauritzen v Larsen (1953) 345 US 571, 97 L Ed 1254, 73 S Ct 921.

Although convenience of access to foreign forum may be regarded as factor militating against applicability of Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688), inaccessibility in sense of difficulty or inconvenience of access is not significant factor supporting applicability of Act. Moncada v Lemuria Shipping Corp. (1974, CA2 NY) 491 F2d 470, cert den 417 US 947, 41 L Ed 2d 667, 94 S Ct 3072 and (disagreed with De Mateos v Texaco, Inc. (CA3 Pa) 562 F2d 895, cert den 435 US 904, 55 L Ed 2d 494, 98 S Ct 1449) and (disagreed with Chiazor v Transworld Drilling Co. (CA5 La) 648 F2d 1015, reh den (CA5 La) 659 F2d 1075 and cert den 455 US 1019, 72 L Ed 2d 136, 102 S Ct 1714) as stated in Vaz Borralho v Keydril Co. (CA5 Tex) 696 F2d 379, reh den (CA5 Tex) 710 F2d 207 and (disagreed with Tallentire v Offshore Logistics, Inc. (CA5 La) 754 F2d 1274, revd on other grounds (US) 91 L Ed 2d 174, 106 S Ct 2485).

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is inapplicable where injured seaman has convenient access to foreign forum in United States at consulate office of appropriate foreign government. Radovcic v The Princ Pavle (1942, DC NY) 45 F Supp 15; Pettersen v The Bertha Brovig (1950, DC NY) 92 F Supp 895; The Lynghaug (1941, DC Pa) 42 F Supp 713; The Astra (1940, DC Md) 34 F Supp 152.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is not applicable to suit for injury sustained aboard Columbian vessel in American territorial waters where Columbian seaman has appropriate foreign forum conveniently available to him. Atencio S. v The Ciudad De Bogota (1957, DC NY) 155 F Supp 590.

Mere availability to injured seaman of foreign forum does not necessariliy render Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) inapplicable. Voyiatzis v National Shipping & Trading Corp. (1961, SD NY) 199 F Supp 920; Rode v Sedco, Inc. (1975, ED Tex) 394 F Supp 206; Camarias v M/V Lady Era (1969, DC Va) 318 F Supp 379, affd (CA4 Va) 432 F2d 1234; Castanho v Jackson Marine, Inc. (1980, ED Tex) 484 F Supp 201, affd in part and app dismd in part (CA5 Tex) 650 F2d 546, reh den (CA5 Tex) 656 F2d 700 and reh den (CA5 Tex) 656 F2d 700.

Unavailability of foreign forum is factor supporting applicability of Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688). Groves v Universe Tankships, Inc. (1970, SD NY) 308 F Supp 826; The Fletero v Arias (1953, CA4 Va) 206 F2d 267, cert den 346 US 897, 98 L Ed 398, 74 S Ct 220; The Astra (1940, DC Md) 34 F Supp 152.


104. --Effect of pending or previous foreign litigation

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is applicable to suit brought by foreign seaman despite fact that seaman has already recovered damages in another forum for his injuries. Hellenic Lines, Ltd. v Rhoditis (1970) 398 US 306, 26 L Ed 2d 252, 90 S Ct 1731, reh den 400 US 856, 27 L Ed 2d 94, 91 S Ct 23; Farmer v Standard Dredging Corp. (1958, DC Del) 167 F Supp 381.

In action brought by Honduran seaman against Norwegian vessel owner, there are insufficient contacts with United States to apply United States law where wrong occurred in Liberia, vessel flew Norwegian flag, ship owner was Norwegian corporation based in Norway, and benefits had been paid under Norwegian compensation system. Nunez-Lozano v Rederi (1980, CA5 La) 634 F2d 135.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is inapplicable where seaman has previously received damages or compensation under laws of foreign forum for same injuries. Pettersen v The Bertha Brovig (1950, DC NY) 92 F Supp 895; Johansson v O. F. Ahlmark & Co. (1952, DC NY) 107 F Supp 70; Nakken v Fearnley & Eger (1955, DC NY) 137 F Supp 288; Rivadeneira v Skibs A/S (1973, SD NY) 353 F Supp 1382.

Despite pending or previous foreign litigation on same matter, Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is applicable to injured seaman's suit in American court. Mpiliris v Hellenic Lines, Ltd. (1969, DC Tex) 323 F Supp 865, affd (CA5 Tex) 440 F2d 1163; Castanho v Jackson Marine, Inc. (1980, ED Tex) 484 F Supp 201, affd in part and app dismd in part (CA5 Tex) 650 F2d 546, reh den (CA5 Tex) 656 F2d 700 and reh den (CA5 Tex) 656 F2d 700.


105. --Availability of evidence and testimony

Fact that seamen's medical records are kept, and physicians who treated him are located in Virginia is significant factor in exercising jurisdiction over suit by Indian seamen who sustained injuries aboard British vessel on high seas. Dutta v Clan Grahan (1975, CA4 Va) 528 F2d 1258.

Fact that preliminary investigations were carried on in United States is significant factor in decision to apply Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) to suit by widow of Greek seaman who was killed in Texas while working aboard Greek registered vessel which was owned by Liberian corporation and operated by Panamanian corporation, both of which corporations were owned by Greek citizens. Fisher v The Agios Nicolaos V (1980, CA5 Tex) 628 F2d 308, 68 ALR Fed 342, reh den (CA5 Tex) 636 F2d 1107 and cert den 454 US 816, 70 L Ed 2d 84, 102 S Ct 92, reh den 454 US 1129, 71 L Ed 2d 117, 102 S Ct 982.

Foreign forums are more convenient for disposition of suit by representatives of seamen for deaths on high seas aboard Dominican Republic ship, and hence Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is inapplicable since witnesses and documentary evidence are in control of parties based in Dominican Republic, outside District Court's jurisdiction. The Lynghaug (1941, DC Pa) 42 F Supp 713.

Fact that testimony of seaman and other witnesses would be in Greek is insignificant difficulty which does not preclude application of Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) to Greek seaman's suit for injuries sustained in Port of Boston aboard Liberian vessel owned by Panamanian corporation whose sole stockholder is United States citizen. Voyiatzis v National Shipping & Trading Corp. (1961, SD NY) 199 F Supp 920.

Availability of treating physicians is important factor to be considered in determining applicability of Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) in denying Greek seaman's right to action under Act for injuries received on high seas aboard Liberian registered and Panamanian owned vessel. Mpampouros v S.S. Auromar (1962, DC Md) 203 F Supp 944.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) does not apply to Italian seaman's suit for injuries sustained aboard Panamanian vessel on high seas since significant evidence is not available in United States. Scognamiglio v Home Lines, Inc. (1965, SD NY) 246 F Supp 605.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is inapplicable to suit where all witnesses reside in Greece and testimony would be in Greek, and important evidence would be unavailable in United States. Poulos v SS Ionic Coast (1967, ED La) 264 F Supp 237.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) applies to suit for death of Irish seaman while working aboard Irish ship in Georgia due to domestic locus of accident, where local witnesses could testify to incident, despite fact that some of witnesses are Irish seamen. Kearney v Savannah Foods & Industries, Inc. (1972, SD Ga) 350 F Supp 85.


106. --Stipulation to post bond and appear in foreign forum

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is not applicable to suit by Greek seaman who signed Greek articles in Belgium and who was injured on high seas aboard Liberian owned and Panamanian registered vessel on voyage from Belgium to United States since shipowner consented to jurisdiction in Greece, and thus accessibility of foreign forum weighed against permitting seaman to sue in American court. Dassigienis v Cosmos Carriers & Trading Corp. (1971, CA2 NY) 442 F2d 1016.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is not applicable to Greek seaman's suit for injuries sustained in New Orleans aboard Greek vessel where shipowner agreed to enter unconditional appearance in Greece and to file bond for any claims which seaman may successfully assert against shipowner in Greece. Yohanes v Ayers S.S. Co. (1971, CA5 La) 451 F2d 349, cert den 406 US 919, 32 L Ed 2d 118, 92 S Ct 1771.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is not applicable in case where adequate foreign forum is available to seaman in Greece since owner agreed to be sued in Greece and posted security for satisfaction of any judgment that might be rendered in Greece in action under Act to sue for injuries sustained on high seas aboard Liberian ship owned by United States citizens. Moutzouris v National Shipping & Trading Co. (1961, SD NY) 194 F Supp 468.

Although Greek seaman has adequate remedy available in Greece, Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is applicable to suit for injuries sustained in Port of Boston aboard Liberian vessel owned by Panamanian corporation whose sole stockholder was American citizen, since fact that just compensation is available under Greek law is minimal factor to be considered in determining applicability of Act. Voyiatzis v National Shipping & Trading Corp. (1961, SD NY) 199 F Supp 920.

Right of action under Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) for injuries sustained by Greek seaman on high seas aboard Liberian registered and Panamanian owned vessel is denied where relief is available in Greek courts and shipowner and other defendants are willing to post security to insure amendability to process in Greece. Brillis v Chandris (U.S.A.), Inc. (1963, SD NY) 215 F Supp 520.

Availability of foreign forum outweighs contacts with United States of incidental importance, and thus Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is not applicable to suit by Greek seaman for injuries sustained in Mexico while aboard Liberian registered and Greek owned vessel, since shipowner was willing to accede to jurisdiction of proper Greek forum and would provide sufficient security to insure compliance with any decree of Greek court, thus making Greek forum readily accessible to seaman. Poulos v SS Ionic Coast (1967, ED La) 264 F Supp 237.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is not applicable to suit by Philippine seaman who was injured on Mississippi River aboard Singapore registered and Liechtenstein owned ship, since shipowner agreed not to interpose any defenses based upon laches or statute of limitations if suit were commenced in either foreign country. Ulat v Transreeder Schiffahrtsgesellschaft, m. b. h. (1976, DC La) 1976 AMC 2529.


107. ----Particular circumstances

Federal district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to retain jurisdiction of action under 46 USCS Appx section 688 and general maritime law by seaman, citizen of Estonia who signed in United States on ship owned by Swedish corporation and flying flag of that country for voyage to terminate in United States and who was injured outside territorial jurisdiction of United States, in view of remedy afforded him by law of Sweden. Berendson v Rederiaktiebolaget Volo (1958, CA2 NY) 257 F2d 136, 1958 AMC 1836, cert den 358 US 895, 3 L Ed 2d 121, 79 S Ct 156.

Although adequate remedy is available in Greece, Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is applicable to suit by widow of Greek seaman killed in Texas while working aboard Greek registered ship which was owned by Liberian corporation and operated by Panamanian corporation both of which corporations were owned by Greek citizens, since under Greek law place of tort determines applicable law. Fisher v The Agios Nicolaos V (1980, CA5 Tex) 628 F2d 308, 68 ALR Fed 342, reh den (CA5 Tex) 636 F2d 1107 and cert den 454 US 816, 70 L Ed 2d 84, 102 S Ct 92, reh den 454 US 1129, 71 L Ed 2d 117, 102 S Ct 982.

Action by German sailor for injuries sustained on Danish vessel would not be entertained by American court upon showing by Danish consul sailor had appropriate remedy under Danish law. The Paula (1937, DC NY) 17 F Supp 555, 1937 AMC 63, affd (CA2 NY) 91 F2d 1001, 1937 AMC 988, cert den 302 US 750, 82 L Ed 580, 58 S Ct 270.

Alien seaman on Norwegian ship, who had adequate remedy under Norwegian law, was not entitled to sue under 46 USCS Appx section 688 for frostbite injury, even though ship was shifted from dock in Hoboken to dock in Brooklyn. Jonassen v United States (1952, DC NY) 103 F Supp 862.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is inapplicable to suit for death on high seas of Panamanian seaman sailing aboard Panamanian ship since there is adequate foreign remedy available. Rankin v Atlantic Maritime Co. (1953, DC NY) 117 F Supp 253.

Although seaman has adequate remedy in courts of Ireland for injuries suffered and both seaman and shipowner were residents of Ireland, action under 46 USCS Appx section 688 could be tried in United States when interest of justice would be more effectively, expeditiously and inexpensively served by retaining jurisdiction over foreign parties in United States. Kearney v Savannah Foods & Industries, Inc. (1972, SD Ga) 350 F Supp 85.

46 USCS Appx section 688 action was dismissed on ground of forum nonconveniens where citizen of Greece jumped to his death from ship into Hudson River; deceased's widow was citizen and resident of Greece, owner of vessel was corporation organized and existing under laws of Liberia and said corporation was neither owned nor controlled by United States citizens, none of stock of owner of vessel was owned by United States citizen, vessel was engaged in carrying passengers and was registered under laws of Greece, decedent joined crew of vessel and agreed that any claim arising out of his employment would be settled according to Greek law, and vessel was departing from New York Harbor to Greece when decedent committed suicide. Xerakis v Greek Line, Inc. (1974, ED Pa) 382 F Supp 774.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is not applicable to suit by widow of Greek seaman for death in California while working aboard Greek registered and Panamanian owned ship since foreign remedy is more adequate to seaman's needs than American remedy. Leonard v General Carriers, S. A. (1974, DC Cal) 1974 AMC 471.

Inconvenience of American forum is one reason for refusing to apply Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) to suit by Greek seaman for injuries sustained in Port of Mobile, Alabama, aboard Greek registered and Panamanian owned ship. Dorizos v Lemos & Pateras, Ltd. (1977, SD Ala) 437 F Supp 120.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) applies to Syrian seaman's personal injury claim, notwithstanding Greek registry of ship, Liberian ownership, contract in Greek providing for Greek law to apply, and availability of foreign forum, where accident occurred in United States waters and ship had substantial and continuous business contact with United States. Dalla v Atlas Maritime Co. (1983, CD Cal) 562 F Supp 752, affd (CA9 Cal) 771 F2d 1277.

Electrician injured on drilling platform off coast of India and who at time of accident was citizen and resident of United Kingdom could not recover under Jones Act, where he failed to meet burden of establishing that he had no remedies available to him under laws of India or United Kingdom. Brown v Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (1988, MD La) 676 F Supp 720, 1988 AMC 1725.


108. Foreign hostilities

Although Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is applicable to suit by Hungarian seaman for injuries sustained aboard Greek vessel in United States, since seaman is citizen of enemy nation and not resident of United States, court is precluded by Trading With Enemy Act from granting relief for duration of war. The Leontios Teryazos (1942, DC NY) 45 F Supp 618.

Alien seaman injured in U. S. territorial waters is entitled to bring action under 46 USCS Appx section 688 where under special circumstances existing and because of war conditions there is probability that he would be unable to obtain relief for injuries in any other place. Kyriakos v Polemis (1943, DC NY) 53 F Supp 715.


109. Hardship

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) is applicable where hardship would result to seaman if he were prevented from suing under Act. The Fletero v Arias (1953, CA4 Va) 206 F2d 267, cert den 346 US 897, 98 L Ed 398, 74 S Ct 220.

Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688) applies to case of Portugese seaman's suit for injuries sustained in Great Britain aboard Panamanian registered and Dutch owned ship, since it would be unjust to require him to forego his forum of choice to be cast about to find justice elsewhere due to his paraplegic condition. Castanho v Jackson Marine, Inc. (1980, ED Tex) 484 F Supp 201, affd in part and app dismd in part (CA5 Tex) 650 F2d 546, reh den (CA5 Tex) 656 F2d 700 and reh den (CA5 Tex) 656 F2d 700.


110. Miscellaneous factors

Trade agreements between United States and foreign nations divesting American courts of jurisdiction over maritime controversies involving foreign seamen relate to international order and shipboard discipline of foreign vessels and are irrelevant when considering applicability of Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688). Gerradin v United Fruit Co. (1932, CA2 NY) 60 F2d 927, cert den 287 US 642, 77 L Ed 556, 53 S Ct 92; The Paula (1937, CA2 NY) 91 F2d 1001, cert den 302 US 750, 82 L Ed 580, 58 S Ct 270.

Although retention of jurisdiction by Federal District Court in action under 46 USCS Appx section 688 would expose shipowner to greatly increased liability under very liberal American maritime law, this cannot be raised as valid objection to retaining jurisdiction. Kearney v Savannah Foods & Industries, Inc. (1972, SD Ga) 350 F Supp 85.

Fact that ship, aboard which seaman was injured, carried American passengers is considered to be significant factor in determination that sufficient contacts with United States exist to warrant application of Jones Act (46 USCS Appx section 688). Pandazopoulos v Universal Cruise Line, Inc. (1973, SD NY) 365 F Supp 208; Mattes v National Hellenic American Line, S. A. (1977, SD NY) 427 F Supp 619.

American contacts were not sufficiently substantial to warrant application of 46 USCS Appx section 688 when among other factors, only 27 percent of total stops made during voyage in question were made in American ports and major portion of vessel's revenues was not in American trade. Hazell v Booth S.S. Co. (1977, SD NY) 436 F Supp 561, adhered to (SD NY) 444 F Supp 85.

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An important victory in the fight for individual rights (as opposed to insurer rights) is the case of Yukumoto and HMSA v. Tawahara. In that case on May 26, 2017, the Hawaii Supreme Court rejected the efforts of a health insurer who tried to convert its insurance coverage into a 'loan agreement' and recover its medical expense payments from Mr. Yukumoto when he had a 3rd party claim - in spite of the fact that he was not being fully compensated for his losses. This insidious insurance practice has been damaging the citizens and members of the Hawaii community for many years. For more info, see the decision here: Yukumoto and HMSA v. Tawahara, Hawaii Sup. Ct. No. SCAP-15-0000460 (May 26, 2017).










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