Summary: H.R.5503 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (07/01/2010)

Securing Protections for the Injured from Limitations on Liability Act - (Sec. 2) Amends the Death on the High Seas Act to permit the personal representative of a decedent to bring a civil action in admiralty or law (limited to admiralty under current law) against the person or vessel responsible for the decedent's death when the death was caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on the high seas beyond three nautical miles from the shore of the United States. Limits the right to bring such an action to the decedent's survivors only (including, as under current law, spouse, parent, child, or dependent relative).

Allows recovery in such an action for fair compensation for nonpecuniary loss (limited to pecuniary loss under current law), plus a fair compensation for the decedent's pain and suffering. Defines "nonpecuniary loss" as loss of care, comfort, and companionship.

(Sec. 3) Amends the Jones Act to allow recovery for the loss of the care, comfort, and companionship of a seaman who died in the course of employment.

Removes restrictions on the bringing of actions under U.S. maritime law by workers who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents against a mineral or energy company for personal injury or death occurring in the territorial waters or continental shelf of a foreign country.

(Sec. 4) Repeals specified general limitations on a shipowner's liability (the Limitation of Liability Act) for personal injury or death on seagoing vessels.

(Sec. 5) Amends the bankruptcy code to prohibit a trustee in bankruptcy from selling or leasing, except in the ordinary course of business, significant property of the estate of a debtor liable for a claim for wrongful death, personal injury, or property damage arising from an incident under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 unless: (1) more than one-half of the creditors, holding at least two-thirds the dollar aggregate amount of the claims not paid by the debtor, consent to such sale or lease; or (2) the court finds, after notice and a hearing, that all such claims will be paid because sufficient property will remain in the estate or the debtor's anticipated future income will be sufficient.