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Maritime Personal Injury

  • Maritime Personal Injury

    Maritime Personal Injury

    Duties of care owed to Passengers and Visitors

    The owner of. Ship in navigable waters owes to all who are onboard for purposes not inimical to his legitimate interest the duty of exercising reasonable care under the circumstances of each case. 

    Who is liable to passenger or crew?

    The carriers owe a duty of care to all on board whether they are guests or invitees, but it can prove problematic when the shipowner or charterer does not issue the tickets and market cruises. Mere brokers or agents who issue the ticket or manage the ship for a disclosed principal are not liable for passenger injuries, but a managing agent who marketed the cruises and chartered the ships, plus undertook operating functions and a right to control actions of the crew, is liable for crew negligence, irrespective of who employed the crew.

    Injuries to longshore and harbour workers is covered by the Longshore and Harbour water Act (LHWCA), they can also claim against the vessel for general and special damages when their injury is caused by negligence of the crew.

    No warranty of safe passage or seaworthiness is implied in contract of carriage for passengers unless it is expressed in the contract.

    Traditionally those onboard to carry out the functions commonly performed by the seaman were covered by warranty of seaworthiness, however as of 1972 with the onset of LHWCA that rule was abrogated, except for those who are exempt from the LHWCA such as pilots and harbor workers.