September 2013

SUING THE U.S. GOVERNMENT

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We mentioned last month that there is a difference in bringing a claim and/or suing a vessel owned or operated by the U.S. Government. Many ships are owned and/or operated by the U.S. Government. Bringing a claim or a suit against these vessels is different than doing so against privately owned vessels. The Statute of Limitations is only two years, not three as in the case of privately owned vessels. These vessels are owned by the U.S. through the Federal Maritime Administration (MARAD) and are operated for the government under contract by a private corporation shipping company. Keep in mind that an administrative claim must first be filed for death or injury aboard such vessels. There are two Acts which govern these matters which we will discuss next month including the claim requirements!

QUESTION FROM THE BRIDGE

I was injured aboard a vessel owned by the government but operated by a private shipping company. My wages were paid by this private company. How much time do I have to file a suit?
Gino, Baton Rouge.

Answer:
Gino,
The two year statute of limitations applies to government owned vessels. Even though the vessel is operated by a private company who paid your wages, the statute is not extended to three years, which is usually the case in Jones Act suits involving privately owned vessels.

About Our Law Firm

For more than four decades, merchant mariners, longshoremen, fishermen and harbor workers plying their trades at sea, on the docks, on our U.S. coastal waters and inland waterways have turned to the maritime law firm of Lyle C. Cavin, Jr. & Associates in Oakland. Today, we are proud to be recognized as one of the preeminent maritime law firms serving injured marine workers nationwide, as well as one of the most successful personal injury litigation firms serving victims of negligence in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the West Coast.

Team Approach to Every Personal Injury and Jones Act Claim

When you retain Lyle C. Cavin, Jr. & Associates with a Jones Act injury claim or personal injury claim, you don't get just one attorney, you get our entire team of dedicated professionals. Our attorneys offer more than 150 combined years of courtroom and negotiated claims settlement experience. We will represent your interests with unwavering dedication, speed and expertise.