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Defense Base Act

Injuries frequently occur to sailors and oil rig workers on the high seas while involved in their daily work activities. These activities may stem from a larger incident, or from something as simple as spilled water on deck. Civilian workers as well as United States defense workers are entitled to receive protection in case of any injuries which occur in these situations. If you or a loved one have been injured while working on a vessel, you may be entitled to receive compensation for any injuries.

The Defense Base Act

The Defense Base Act was passed in 1941 as an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Prior to this Act, workers on the high seas were unable to fall within the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act when they were employed on government contracts. The Act was specifically passed to protect workers on lend-lease military bases. In 1942, the Act was further amended to apply to workers outside of the United States. The Mutual Security Act (MSA) expanded the Act even further to apply to employees working abroad under contracts financed by the MSA.

The main purpose of the Defense Base Act was to ensure the following individuals were covered through the Act:

  1. Individuals working in defense bases acquired from a foreign government including construction for the public use of the United States or its allies.
  2. Individuals working on lands occupied or used by the United States for military purposes outside the continental United States.
  3. Individuals working in the public sector in a territory or possession under contract with the United States.
  4. Individual working through welfare or similar services outside the United States authorized by the Department of Defense.

If you have any questions regarding the Defense Base Act and whether you may fall within the recovery options of the Act, contact an experienced maritime law attorney today. It is important that you bring a claim as soon as possible to ensure you fall within the limitations period and to ensure that your attorney will be able to accurately research the facts of your case. The longer you wait to bring a claim, the fuzzier witness memories become and the more likely documents are to disappear.

Malley Law Firm | Houston Maritime Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been injured while on the high seas, do not hesitate to contact the Malley Law Firm. Anthony Malley is an experienced maritime attorney who has assisted numerous clients with their Defense Base Act claims. Contact our Texas office today for your initial free consultation and we will discuss the intricacies of your case as well as the possible methods for recovery.


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