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7.7 Unseaworthiness—Causation Defined

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7.7 UNSEAWORTHINESS—CAUSATION DEFINED

The definition of causation for the plaintiff's unseaworthiness claim is different from that for the Jones Act negligence claim.

Unseaworthiness is a cause of injury or damage if it was a substantial factor in bringing about injury or damage.

Comment

A different test for causation applies to an unseaworthiness claim as compared to a Jones Act negligence claim. See Ribitzki v. Canmar Reading & Bates, Ltd. Partnership, 111 F.3d 658, 665 (9th Cir.1997) (causation is established for an unseaworthiness claim by showing the condition was a "substantial factor" in causing the injury). Where both Jones Act negligence and unseaworthiness claims exist, the court should instruct on the causal requirements for each. See Lies v. Farrell Lines, 641 F.2d 765, 769 n.7 (9th Cir.1981).