In an admiralty case involving shipowner's duty to pay maintenance to a seaman, district court's award of declaratory judgment in favor of the seaman-defendant is affirmed where: 1) commuter seamen enjoy the same right to maintenance as their deep water counterparts; 2) the long-term disability payments do not offset the amount of maintenance owed which is a duty that is independent of the shipowner's contractual obligations; 3) receipt of social security benefits did not relieve the shipowner of its maintenance obligation; 4) district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding prejudgment interest award to compensate defendant for losses stemming from plaintiff's tardy discharge of its duty; and 5) district court properly exercised its discretion in denying defendant's claim for consequential damages.
On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (D.C. Civil No. 07-Cv-00008)
District Judge: Honorable Sue L. Robinson
Opinion Filed September 25, 2009
Counsel for Appellee: E. Alfred Smith, E. Alfred Smith & Associates