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Fishermen's Federal Maritime Law & State Wage Law Violation Claims Addressed

By FindLaw Staff on March 22, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In Borkowski v. F/V Madison Kate, Sea Ventures, LLC, No. 09-1311, the First Circuit addressed commercial fishermen's claims of federal maritime law and state wage laws.

As stated in the decision: "Where the fishermen have already received a lay share portion of the proceeds from the fishing voyages they participated in, there does not appear to be any other real remedy for the vessel owners' failure to comply with section 10601, absent section 11107."

Thus, in upholding the district court's judgment, the court held that to the extent plaintiffs' seek compensatory relief under section 10601 is premised on the claim that defendants improperly deducted expenses, there is no evidence where a factfinder could conclude that the deductions were improper.  Furthermore, there is also no evidence to support an award of punitive damages and plaintiffs' challenge to the district court's judgment with respect to the merits of the wage claim is rejected. 

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