Mercer Law Review: 11th Circuit Admiralty Survey (2016, 2018)

Articles / Publications

Mobile Partner John Kavanagh authors "Admiralty" section for the Summer 2018 issue of the Mercer Law Review.

The cases discussed herein represent decisions the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued in 2016 and 2017.1 While not an all-inclusive list of maritime decisions from the court during that timeframe, the Author identified and provided summaries of key decisions which should be of interest to the maritime practitioner.2


Tundidor v. Miami-Dade County,3 addresses subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. ยง 1333;4 specifically, the case addresses whether a canal is "navigable" for purposes of admiralty or maritime jurisdiction if it is blocked by artificial obstructions preventing it from being used to conduct interstate commerce.5 In a case of apparent first impression, the appellate court agreed with the trial court's decision to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.6

The plaintiff, a passenger aboard a recreational vessel, suffered serious injuries while the vessel was operating on the Coral Park Canal in Miami, Florida. The canal is traversed by a number of low-lying bridges. After ducking to pass underneath such a structure, the plaintiff raised his head only to strike a water pipe, causing serious injury.7 Suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, invoking the admiralty jurisdiction of the court.8

The test for admiralty tort jurisdiction is twofold: "(1) there must be a significant relationship between the alleged wrong and traditional maritime activity (the nexus requirement) and (2) the tort must have occurred on navigable waters (the location requirement)."9 In the instant case, the trial court found that the Coral Park Canal was not navigable, and thus, failed to satisfy the location requirement.10

The test for navigable waters was set forth in The DANIEL BALL.11 The Supreme Court of the United States held that navigable waters must be "navigable in fact" and capable of being used in interstate commerce.12

To read the full review, please download "Admiralty" written by John P. Kavanagh, Jr.


Related Professionals

Jump to Page
Arrow icon Top

Contact Us

We use cookies to improve your website experience, provide additional security, and remember you when you return to the website. This website does not respond to "Do Not Track" signals. By clicking "Accept," you agree to our use of cookies. To learn more about how we use cookies, please see our Privacy Policy.

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. These cookies may only be disabled by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytical Cookies

Analytical cookies help us improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage. We access and process information from these cookies at an aggregate level.