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Law of the Sea

Admiralty law

Compact of Free Association

Seastead Government Considerations


Master Lease


"Most maritime cases are decided on the issues of negligence and/or unseaworthiness. Thus, it is extremely important that the attorneys and the experts understand these terms.

Negligence - There is a duty owed by a defendant to a plaintiff when an injury is foreseeable. The standard is "reasonable care under the circumstances in each case" 358 U.S. 625, 632, 79 S.Ct 406, 410 (1959). There must be a breach of the duty owed, injury to the plaintiff, and a causal connection between the defendant's conduct and the injury to the plaintiff. Black's Law Dictionary defines negligence:

The omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by those ordinary considerations which ordinarily regulate human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a reasonable and prudent man would not do.

Unseaworthiness - Unseaworthiness is the failure of the vessel's owner or operator to provide a vessel that is fit for its intended purpose for the voyage, McAllister v Magnolia Petroleum Co357 U.S. 221, 78 S.Ct 1201, 2 L.Ed.2d 1272 (1958). Seaworthiness is a warranty of fitness for duty, Martinez v Sealand Services, Inc. 763 F.2d 26, 27, 1986 AMC 851 (1st Cir. 1985), on remand 637 F.Supp. 503 (D.Puerto Rico 1986). Considerations are the proper manning of a vessel through the number, qualification or training of a crew, and fitness of the vessel and her equipment. The fact that an owner or operator used due care is no defense. It is also no defense that the owner had no notice or opportunity to correct the defect, Mitchell v. Trawler Racer, Inc.362 U.S. 539, 80 S.Ct. 926, 4 L.Ed 941 (1960). The warrantee of seaworthiness extends to the hull of the ship, the ship's cargo handling equipment, the tools carried aboard, the rope and tackle, and all types of equipment aboard. Even a latent defect may cause a vessel to be unseaworthy."

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