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Will a previous injury affect my ability to recover maintenance and cure?

Defense to payment of maintenance and cure – concealment and misconduct. A boat company can avoid paying maintenance and cure for only two reasons. First, a boat company does not have to pay maintenance and cure if they can show the seaman lied on his employment application about his health. A common example is if a seaman says he hurt his back while working. If the boat company finds that the seaman hurt his back before working for that company, but denied any prior back injury on his employment application, the boat company could refuse to pay maintenance and cure for the second back injury. The prior injury must be directly related to the injury or illness at issue, however, and the boat company's employment application must clearly ask the seaman about the prior illness or injury.

Second, a boat company can avoid paying maintenance and cure if a seaman's injury or illness results from "misconduct." Most "misconduct" cases involve someone getting sick or hurt due to misuse of drugs or alcohol. Courts have similarly ruled that a seaman cannot get maintenance and cure from illnesses caused by sexually transmitted diseases or from active AIDS since those are likewise deemed to result from "misconduct." This article is not intended to be a complete discussion of this often complicated area of seaman's rights.
If No Recovery No Fee Guarenteed

The Voss Law Firm, P.C. represents clients on a local, national and international basis. We proudly serve companies and individuals along the Gulf Coast and around the globe on a contingency fee basis. Our law firm collects nothing unless we recover on our client's behalf.

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