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Jurisdiction Over Actions Sounding In Tort

Many types of torts have been considered maritime in nature and thus within admiralty jurisdiction, including the following cases:

  • claims for personal injuries sustained on board a ship in navigable water,
  • or aboard a vessel moored to a wharf in navigable water;
  • or for injuries suffered by a worker engaged in repairing a bridge from a vessel moored in navigable water;
  • and suits involving breach of the duty to furnish a seaworthy ship;
  • assault and battery aboard a ship;
  • false detainer or arrest aboard a ship, even by the United States Coast Guard;
  • conversion; trespass; and abuse of process aboard a ship
  • a scuba diver’s claim against the crew of a vessel that transported him to a dive site
  • A claim for fraud in inducing the release of the attachment of a vessel, and
  • the flight of the vessel, were not maritime in nature so as to give rise to admiralty jurisdiction.

Analysis of a maritime tort is guided by general principles of negligence law, such as whether the tortfeasor owed a duty to the person injured.[i]

[i] Consolidated Aluminum Corp. v. C.F. Bean Corp., 833 F.2d 65 (5th Cir. 1987).

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