DOHSA

AcronymDefinition
DOHSADeath on the High Seas Act
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(25) While DOHSA created a standard for recovery for people who
The purpose of Congress in enacting DOHSA was to eliminate the "disgrace" of The Harrisburg and to "bring our maritime law into line with the laws of those enlightened nations which confer a right of action for death at sea." (177) Congress has not attempted to "pre-empt the entire field" and destroy remedies that previously existed such as state wrongful death statutes.
shores, DOHSA will no longer apply, but other applicable law will.
District Court for the Northern District of California held that DOHSA governed the action and permitted recovery of only pecuniary damages, thereby precluding the availability of non-pecuniary damages under general maritime or state law in a wrongful death or survival action.
the Warsaw Convention and DOHSA govern the rights of the parties.
On appeal, KAL attempted to distinguish Zicherman from Lockerbie II by arguing that DOHSA should apply to the Zicherman claims, thereby precluding non-pecuniary damages, including loss of society, because the KAL disaster occurred over non-territorial waters, whereas Lockerbie II involved an accident over land.
Both DOHSA and the Jones Act provide a negligence remedy to injured seamen,(142) but the Jones Act also grants a wrongful death remedy when seamen are killed as a result of their employees negligence.(143) However, the Jones Act does not provide a remedy for the wrongful death of a seaman caused by a breach of the warranty of seaworthiness under general maritime law,'(144) and the Supreme Court has not allowed state wrongful death statutes to fill the gap and provide such a remedy.(145)
Under the conference agreement, DOHSA would no longer apply in cases arising from commercial aviation crashes in which a person's death is caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on the high seas within 12 nautical miles of U.S.
Defendants have removed DOHSA claims from state court based on the premise that the federal courts have original jurisdiction and the remedy for a death on the high seas is an exclusive federal remedy created by a federal statute.
no [wrongful death] action will he in the courts of the United States under the general maritime law."(67) Seizing upon the invitation extended in The Harrisburg,(68) maritime courts looked to wrongful death statutes--the Jones Act, DOHSA, and state statutes--as a basis for allowing recovery to the deceased's survivors.(69) This practice tempered the harshness of The Harrisburg.(70)