Legal Updates on Maritime Workers' Personal Injury Claims: Galloway v. Moran Towing



 Galloway v. Moran Towing of Lake Charles is a federal court case out of Lafayette federal court. It illustrates how long seamen can get maintenance and cure (M&C) benefits from their vessel employers. If you are asserting a claim to recover damages, this case has some valuable insights for you.    

Galloway’s Personal Injury Case  

 Galloway injured his back on Moran’s towing vessel, the ELEANOR MORAN. Galloway’s doctor recommended the surgical insertion of a spinal cord stimulator to treat his spinal injury. It allows the patient to send electrical impulses by remote control to relieve the pain. Also, the vessel employer started paying the injured crewman his maintenance and cure benefits.

M&C are owed until the point of maximum medical improvement or MMI. That is the point at which further treatment will result in no betterment of the seaman’s condition. Therefore, MMI is achieved when:

  1. a seaman’s condition is incurable, or
  2. future treatment will not improve the seaman’s condition.

Termination of M&C Dispute 

  Moran asked the Court to find that it no longer owed M&C benefits to Galloway since it contended the spinal cord stimulator only relieves pain and does nothing to improve his condition. The doctor’s testimony stated the contrary, so the Court denied Moran’s motion seeking to terminate the compensation.

One of the points to remember about M&C is that vessel employers will always try to find a way to terminate the payments as soon as they can. Make sure to seek legal advice if your employer attempts to do the same.

Interested to know how M&C are calculated? Learn more about standard daily rates and how to get a higher maintenance rate.