Workers in virtually any profession on a ship can qualify as seamen, including:
• Waiters and waitresses
• Deck hands
However, workers must meet certain conditions for the law to consider them seamen under the Jones Act. Typically, a worker must spend time working at sea to be eligible to file a lawsuit under the Jones Act. Furthermore, the ship on which the seaman works must be a vessel.
Courts generally consider any object involved in the transport of cargo or passengers on navigable waters a vessel. For example, a cruise liner would be a vessel, but a casino boat that is permanently at shore may not be, since the crew members do not regularly face dangers associated with work at sea.
The vessel must also be owned and flagged under the laws of the United States, but determining if the Jones Act applies depends largely upon facts of particular case and activity in which the injured party was engaged at time of injury. For more information contact Keith J. Stone.