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FREEHILL PREVAILS DEFENDING CHALLENGE TO CONTRACTUAL MAINTENANCE AND CURE

On June 30, 2016  Freehill partner Jack Walsh obtained summary judgment from the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in a maintenance and cure case.  The plaintiff in James L. Joyce v. Maersk Line Ltd. was discharged from the M/V MAERSK OHIO for medical reasons and repatriated to the U.S. His employment contract provided that he would receive unearned wages until the end of his contract as well as maintenance at $16 per day for the full period of his disability.  The plaintiff filed a class action alleging that the portions of the employment contract governing unearned wages and maintenance violated general maritime law and the Shipowners Liability Convention.  On motion for summary judgment made on behalf of the defendant, the plaintiff’s arguments were either rejected or failed for lack of supporting evidence, and summary judgment was granted.