Brais & Brais’ maritime lawyers Keith Brais and Richard Rusak were asked by Florida Lawyers Mutual to contribute to an article showcasing the Ship Owner’s Limitation of Liability Act. The Limitation of Liability Act enables vessel owners in certain situations to limit their liability for boating accidents to the vessel’s value. Though intended to encourage American commercial shipping during a time where marine insurance was difficult to obtain, the loose language of the over 150 year law has been recently held to apply to recreational boat accidents. This little known and complicated area of maritime law routinely trips up general practice attorneys prompting Florida Lawyers Mutual, an insurance company specializing in legal malpractice claims, to address the Act in its quarterly publication.
The article entitled THE SHIPOWNERS LIMITATION OF LIABILITY ACT OF 1851: Over 150 Years Old and Still Creating Malpractice Risks for Attorneys discusses various nuances of the Limitation of Liability Act including the time in which a boat owner can invoke the protection of the Act, the shortened statute of limitations an injured person has to bring claim when the boat owner invokes the Act as well as various situations where the Act applies and does not apply.
Attorneys Brais & Rusak are Board Certified by the Florida Bar in the area of admiralty & maritime law and have previously authored a comprehensive article on the Limitation of Liability Act that was presented at the prestigious Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute annual maritime law seminar. Brais & Brais has extensive experience with the Limitation of Liability Act and are routinely engaged by injured parties to represent them when a boat owner invokes the Act’s protections.