Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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Ficarra filed suit against petitioner, asserting claims of negligence stemming from a tort involving a vessel on navigable waters. More specifically, the case involves a diving accident off a recreational vessel anchored in shallow but navigable lake waters. The district court concluded that there was no admiralty jurisdiction here and reasoned that a recreational injury occurring on a recreational vessel anchored in a shallow recreational bay of navigable waters could not disrupt maritime commerce and did not bear a sufficient relationship to traditional maritime activity. Although the court concluded that the district court correctly articulated the Supreme Court’s modern test for admiralty tort jurisdiction, the court respectfully disagreed with its conclusion that jurisdiction is lacking here. The Supreme Court instructed the court that, “ordinarily,” “every tort involving a vessel on navigable waters falls within the scope of admiralty jurisdiction.” Therefore, petitioner's appeal of the dismissal of his petition seeking exoneration from or limitation of liability was proper, and the district court has jurisdiction over that petition. The court reversed and remanded. View "In Re Petition of Bruce Germain" on Justia Law