Ship worker entitled to ‘maintenance and cure’ for lymphoma

A merchant seaman who was diagnosed with lymphoma two months after ending his service on a tugboat was entitled to receive compensation from the ship owner for food, lodging and medical services, a New York federal appeals court ruled.

Such benefits – which are known as “maintenance and cure” – are available under general maritime law to seamen who are injured while serving on a ship.

The tugboat owner in this case argued that the worker wasn’t entitled to maintenance and cure because his disease didn’t manifest itself until long after his service on the boat had ended.

But the court disagreed, and said that if the worker had the disease while we was working on the ship, he was entitled to benefits – even if the disease didn’t manifest itself, and wasn’t diagnosed, until long afterward.