Why is Maritime Law Important?
Our ports are expanding at a vast rate; cargo coming into and out of the US is growing.
Floating drilling rigs dot the Gulf of Mexico and beyond.
All forms of injury and death occur – most preventable.
We also have collisions, allisions, and sadly explosions (e.g. DEEPWATER HORIZON).
Admiralty and general maritime law and lawyers are instrumental in keeping the vessel owners, shippers, cargo operators, oil companies, and other maritime interests on their toes — watchdogs for how companies treat their employees/workers, how the workers get paid, or how their safety programs are implemented and then, complied with or followed.
Remember, maritime professions – seamen (Captains, mates, engineers, deckhands) suffer the perils of the sea.
Maritime laws have long described seamen as “wards of admiralty.”
The theory is that seamen and other maritime workers require special legal protection due to the heightened danger of injury, illness, or death they face in their work.
Longshoremen suffer a similar fate – with moving cranes, shifting bulk cargo, moving containers, operating front loaders.
Drill rig workers face not only the perils of the sea but the relentless job of keeping the oil coming up out of the Gulf on short deadlines and relentless managers.
Maritime laws and Maritime Lawyers are necessary to enforce them and necessary to police this burgeoning yet dangerous industry.