Admiralty Lawsuits

Admiralty Lawsuits: "Admiralty lawsuits are initiated by parties (i.e., people or corporations or other legal entities such as cities) when they have a grievance that would be governed by the laws of admiralty. These lawsuits seek a remedy that may include compensation for damages or simply the correction of a problem (e.g., clean-up of an oil spill from a tanker).

Events on Navigable Waters

Admiralty lawsuits are often based on injuries or illnesses incurred by individuals who were part of a maritime setting. Events that occur on 'navigable waters' are at the foundation of admiralty lawsuits, and it is not always clear whether the waters in question are navigable. Some of the incidents in admiralty lawsuits involve:

* oceans
* seas
* bays
* marinas
* lakes and rivers which are large enough for commercial shipping or recreational boating

Difficult Cases

A more difficult question about navigable waters regards the territorial waters of a nation. There is no one law or guideline for determining how far from a shoreline a country's territorial waters extend; in some places the border is three miles out, but in other cases a different distance is used.

Even more challenging is defining the boundary between the territorial waters of Florida/the United States versus 'the high seas.' This boundary is determined by the Gulf Stream — which is constantly moving. Similar situations exist around the world.
The Plaintiffs in Admiralty Lawsuits

The plaintiffs (that is, the individuals who have been harmed) in admiralty lawsuits have included private parties (e.g., swimmers, passengers, guests, water skiers, kayakers) such as those hurt in accidents involving:

* boats — motorboats, sailboats, dinner cruises, water taxis, etc.
* personal water craft
* recreational divers
* cruise ships"