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Text of the Deepwater Horizon Survivors’ Fairness Act

This bill was introduced on June 8, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Nov 14, 2012 (Reported by Senate Committee).

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Source: GPO

S 183 RS

Calendar No. 544

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 183

To clarify the applicability of certain maritime laws with respect to the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 25, 2011

Mr. ROCKEFELLER (for himself, Mr. SCHUMER, MR. WHITEHOUSE, AND MS. LANDRIEU) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

November 14, 2012

Reported by Mr. Rockefeller, with an amendment

[Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the matter printed in italic]


A BILL

To clarify the applicability of certain maritime laws with respect to the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

[Struck out->] SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] This Act may be cited as the ‘Deepwater Horizon Survivors’ Fairness Act’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 2. AMENDMENT OF SHIPOWNERS’ LIABILITY ACT OF 1851. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) General Limit of Liability- Section 30505(c) of title 46, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(c) Claims Not Subject to Limitation- Subsection (a) does not apply-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) to a claim for wages; or [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) to a claim for personal injury or wrongful death arising from the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon that occurred on April 20, 2010.’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) Conforming Amendment- Section 30511(c) of title 46, United States Code, is amended by inserting ‘that are subject to limitation under section 30505’ after ‘question’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 3. AMENDMENT OF THE DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS ACT. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) Cause of Action- Section 30302 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the first sentence the following: ‘If the death was attributable to the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon that occurred on April 20, 2010, the action may be brought in law or in admiralty.’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) Amount and Apportionment of Recovery- Section 30303 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘If the action under this chapter arises from the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon that occurred on April 20, 2010, the recovery may include fair compensation for nonpecuniary loss, plus a fair compensation for the decedent’s pain and suffering. In this section, the term ‘nonpecuniary loss’ means the loss of care, comfort, companionship, and society.’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (c) Death of Plaintiff in Pending Action- Section 30305 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘If a civil action in law is pending in a court of the United States to recover for personal injury caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default described in the second sentence of section 30302 of this title and the individual dies during the action as a result of that wrongful act, neglect, or default, the personal representative of the decedent may be substituted as the plaintiff and the action may proceed under this chapter for the recovery authorized by this chapter.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 4. AMENDMENT OF JONES ACT. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] Section 30104(a) of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘If the action under this chapter arises from the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon that occurred on April 20, 2010, the recovery for a seaman who dies may include fair compensation for nonpecuniary loss, plus a fair compensation for the decedent’s pain and suffering. In this section, the term ‘nonpecuniary loss’ means the loss of care, comfort, companionship, and society.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 5. MULTIDISTRICT LITIGATION FOR CERTAIN CIVIL ACTIONS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) Multidistrict Litigation for Certain Civil Actions- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) In general- Chapter 303 of title 46, United States Code, is amended-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->] (A) by redesignating section 30308 as section 30309; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->] (B) by inserting after section 30307 the following: [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->]
‘30308. Multidistrict litigation for certain civil actions [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(a) In General- A plaintiff in a covered civil action brought under chapter 301 or this chapter may elect to have the claims of that plaintiff-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) severed from all other claims in the covered civil action; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) not be subject to section 1407 of title 28 or any similar provision of State law. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(b) Covered Civil Action Defined- In this section, the term ‘covered civil action’ means a civil action for damages for personal injury or wrongful death arising from the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon that occurred on April 20, 2010.’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) Conforming Amendment- The table of contents for chapter 303 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating to section 30308 and inserting the following: [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘30308. Multidistrict litigation for certain civil actions. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘30309. Nonapplication.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] The amendments made by this Act shall apply to-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) causes of action and claims arising after April 19, 2010; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) actions commenced before the date of enactment of this Act that have not been finally adjudicated, including appellate review, as of that date. [<-Struck out]

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Deepwater Horizon Survivors’ Fairness Act’.

SEC. 2. AMENDMENT OF SHIPOWNERS’ LIABILITY ACT OF 1851.

    (a) General Limit of Liability- Section 30505(c) of title 46, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(c) Claims Not Subject to Limitation- Subsection (a) does not apply--

      ‘(1) to a claim for wages; or

      ‘(2) to a claim for personal injury or wrongful death arising from the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon that occurred on April 20, 2010.’.

    (b) Conforming Amendment- Section 30511(c) of title 46, United States Code, is amended by inserting ‘that are subject to limitation under section 30505’ after ‘question’.

SEC. 3. AMENDMENT OF THE DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS ACT.

    (a) Cause of Action- Section 30302 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the first sentence the following: ‘If the death was attributable to the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon that occurred on April 20, 2010, the action may be brought in law or in admiralty.’.

    (b) Amount and Apportionment of Recovery- Section 30303 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘If the action under this chapter arises from the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon that occurred on April 20, 2010, the recovery may include fair compensation for nonpecuniary loss, plus a fair compensation for the decedent’s pain and suffering. In this section, the term ‘nonpecuniary loss’ means the loss of care, comfort, companionship, and society.’.

    (c) Death of Plaintiff in Pending Action- Section 30305 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘If a civil action in law is pending in a court of the United States to recover for personal injury caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default described in the second sentence of section 30302 of this title and the individual dies during the action as a result of that wrongful act, neglect, or default, the personal representative of the decedent may be substituted as the plaintiff and the action may proceed under this chapter for the recovery authorized by this chapter.’.

SEC. 4. AMENDMENT OF JONES ACT.

    Section 30104 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘If the action under this chapter arises from the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon that occurred on April 20, 2010, the recovery for a seaman who dies may include fair compensation for nonpecuniary loss, plus a fair compensation for the decedent’s pain and suffering. In this section, the term ‘nonpecuniary loss’ means the loss of care, comfort, companionship, and society.’.

SEC. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    The amendments made by this Act shall apply to--

      (1) causes of action and claims arising after April 19, 2010; and

      (2) actions commenced prior to, on, or after the date of enactment of this Act that have not been finally adjudicated, including appellate review, as of that date.

Calendar No. 544

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 183

A BILL

To clarify the applicability of certain maritime laws with respect to the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon.


November 14, 2012

Reported with an amendment