Losing a loved one is an unimaginable tragedy, and while financial compensation cannot fill the void left by their absence, it can provide support during challenging times. The following case involves the tragic situation of parents whose seaman son died. Although the deceased seaman’s father tried to recover damages from his son’s death, he ultimately proved unsuccessful.
James Swafford was killed while aboard the M/V Pintail on the Mississippi River. The ship’s owner, Magnolia Fleet, and its operator, River Construction, Inc., filed a lawsuit. All claimants against Magnolia Fleet and River Construction were settled and dismissed except those of Swafford’s father.
Swafford’s father claimed Magnolia Fleet and River Construction were liable for negligence under the Jones Act and unseaworthiness under general maritime law. Swafford’s father wanted to recover damages based on his son’s alleged pain and suffering before his death, loss of future earnings, loss of consortium, and other punitive and monetary damages.