The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, sponsored by Senator Wesley L. Jones of Washington and simply referred to as the Jones Act, was created to govern the workers' compensation rights of sailors and the use of foreign vessels in domestic trade. Unlike other workers or employees who file a state workers' compensation claim, the workers in maritime professions must file a claim under the Jones Act.
The Jones Act states that the negligent employer must compensate an injured seaman for damages received as a result of an injury. The General Maritime Law states that a vessel owner (a shipping company for example) must compensate an injured seaman for transportation, wages, maintenance and cure without regard to liability. If the injury was due to negligence, our law firm would seek additional compensation for pain and suffering.
Compensation under the Jones Act and the General Maritime Law is extremely complicated. Dodson, Hooks & Frederick, APLC, has obtained millions in compensation for hundreds of workers resulting from offshore injuries under the Jones Act and for lost wages under the penalty wage statutes. We have experience with the following types of workers and injuries:
- Burn injuries including chemical burns
- Dock worker injuries
- Ferry or water taxi injuries
- Fishing trawler injuries
- Inland marine injuries
- International maritime injuries
- Offshore oil rig injuries
- Tanker or cargo ship injuries
- Toxic tort for ship's hold injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Tugboat and barge injuries
- Work boat injuries
- Wrongful death litigation for drowning victims and other fatal injuries
Representative case: Woznica vs. USA & Keystone Alaska, LLC et al.: Mr. Woznica was a Polish seafarer employed by Alaska Tanker Company aboard the Alaska Tanker Kenai as a repair-riding crew member when an engine fell causing relatively minor physical injuries while the ship was sailing in the Pacific Ocean. Post-accident, Mr. Woznica developed Post Traumatic Paranoid Schizophrenia rendering him totally and permanently disabled. Suit was filed in California and after discovery and motion practice, the case was settled for a confidential amount totaling many hundreds of thousands of dollars.
International Seaman Wage Collection Attorneys
Dodson, Hooks & Frederick, APLC is one of handful of law firms that will represent international workers seeking compensation for unpaid wages. Our admiralty and maritime law firm has an international reputation for being able to find the people who are at fault and then work to get jurisdiction even when the owners are from elsewhere in the world.
For example, our law firm has the resources and experience to pursue unpaid wages due to workers from Malaysia who are on a Maltese ship owned by a Greek conglomerate.
If the international company does not pay its workers, the United States can force payment when a ship is in a U.S. port. Dodson, Hooks & Frederick, APLC has been able to seize or arrest the ship until the seamen wages are paid, often with the double recovery that is allowed according U.S. statutes.
Trusted by Chaplains and Unions Worldwide
Dodson, Hooks & Frederick, APLC, has developed a worldwide network of agencies, organizations and other lawyers that assist seamen and advising of the work our firm continues to perform on a daily basis. We proudly support the good works of the following people and organizations:
- International Transport Workers Federation — a labor federation representing transport workers around the world
- Apostleship of the Sea
- International port inspectors
- International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO, union inspectors
Justice at Home and Abroad
Our Louisiana maritime and admiralty law attorneys at Dodson, Hooks, & Frederick will consider handling serious cases that arise in the areas of personal injury, maritime wage claims, toxic tort, class action, property damage, environmental damage, commercial litigation, wrongful death and other serious personal injury claims. For more information about our services and how we may assist you, please call 225-372-1666 locally or 800-569-2195 toll free, or send our attorneys an e-mail.