In my little world, some ink has been spilled on the Naquin v. EBI case, which expanded Jones Act status and limited a cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
But there's another opinion coming out of the loss that's just as important, regarding insurance. Mr. Naquin was using a land-based crane to load a vessel. The crane collapsed, injuring Naquin and killing another employee. Naquin was found to be a Jones Act seaman - a topic for another day.
Does the P&I policy respond? The P&I policy is limited to liabilities incurred "as owner of the vessel[s]" listed in the policy. Naquin wasn't working on a vessel. The vessel didn't have anything to do with the accident. So how could liability be vessel-based? The Fifth Circuit followed this logic and held the P&I policy does not provide coverage.
What would provide coverage? An MEL policy is the obvious choice, and it stands to reason Jones Act employers need both. P&I covers any incident that occurs on the vessel. MEL covers everything else. Injured on the way to the vessel? Or on a rig at which the vessel is tied up? There is still possibly Jones Act exposure, and certainly M&C, but those are MEL risks. It follows, I think, that it may be useful for a P&I underwriter to add MEL cover to address the gap.