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Wynne Publishes Loyola Law Review Article
June 7, 2005

Maritime associate Bill Wynne co-authored for the winter publication of the 2004 Loyola Law Review the article titled, William P. Wynne & Brian M. Ballay, "Seaman's Manslaughter: A Potential Sea of Troubles for the Maritime Defendant and a Clever Mechanism for Taking Arms Against the Slings and Arrows of Maritime Plaintiffs," 50 Loy L .Rev. 869 (2004). The article discusses an obscure federal criminal statute, colloquially referred to as "Seaman's Manslaughter," which imposes criminal liability on some maritime interests whose mere negligence causes the death of a human being.  The authors discuss a recent case in the Eastern District of Louisiana (now on appeal to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals) where a vessel's captain was successfully prosecuted under the statute and the ramifications of that prosecution.  The authors show not only how the statute can work a manifest injustice on maritime interests but also how the statute combined with the privilege against self incrimination can be used by maritime interests to effectively curtail wrongful death suits and force settlement.  The authors argue strongly in favor of repealing the statute.  The article presents an excellent history of the development of the general maritime law and Seaman's Manslaughter.  The article is directed toward the attention of maritime interests but would serve as an interesting piece for any entity facing the possibility of concurrent civil and criminal litigation. To link to the article, click here.