Some would argue that crisis begets opportunity. It appears that the BP oil spill may be the opportunity needed by US legislators to fundamentally change US maritime law. According to press accounts, Congress is currently considering revisions to the Death on the High Seas Act, the Limitation of Liability Act and the Jones Act. Congress is also considering revisiting the appropriateness of punitive damages awards in maritime cases. Obviously, if any of these statutes are changed, the “seascape” of maritime law in the US will be altered.
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