What is an unseaworthiness claim?
As a crew member, you generally have three causes of action. The Jones Act claim for negligence against your employer, the general maritime claim of unseaworthiness and the general maritime claim for maintenance and cure. The unseaworthiness claim is against the vessel owner and the vessel. It is almost a strict liability claim. What you must establish is the vessel and/or the crew was deficient in some way. The ship owner does not need notice or knowledge of the deficiency. A vessel that’s under crewed or the crew is improperly trained or that has a defective piece of equipment or not the correct equipment, will give you an unseaworthiness claim against the vessel owner and the vessel.