What is a Vessel?
U.S. Supreme Court Confirms Vessel Definition
On February 22nd, 2005, the United States Supreme Court held in Stewart v. Dutra that a special purpose dredge was a vessel for purposes of the Jones Act. The Stewart decision clarifies and assists seaman in proving one important requirement to qualify under the Jones Act, i.e. that they be working aboard a vessel. Even if the structure that you were working on was temporarily moored or anchored, if it is ‘practically capable’ of navigation, you may have been working on a vessel for purposes of the Jones Act.
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