April 05, 2016 Articles

How a Seaman’s Failure to Disclose Pertinent Medical History Impacts the Right to Recover Maintenance and Cure

Learn how a company can employ the McCorpen defense.

By Nicholas J. Cenac

Maritime workers categorized as seamen under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C.A. § 30104, are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits in the event that they sustain personal injuries in the course of their employment. The right to maintenance stems from the maritime employer’s obligation to provide seamen room and board while serving on a vessel. Accordingly, when a seaman is injured in the course of his employment, his employer is required to provide him with sufficient compensation to maintain his basic household expenses while convalescing. Cure, in turn, requires an employer to pay for the necessary and reasonable medical expenses incurred as a result of the workplace injury until the seaman reaches maximum medical improvement.

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