Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (11/14/2012)

Deepwater Horizon Survivors' Fairness Act - (Sec. 2) Amends federal maritime law formerly known as the Shipowners' Liability Act of 1851 to exclude a claim for personal injury or wrongful death arising from the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon that occurred on April 20, 2010 (the Deepwater Horizon incident), from provisions limiting a vessel owner's liability in specified instances to the value of the vessel and its pending freight.

(Sec. 3) Amends the Death on the High Seas Act to allow a civil action in law or in admiralty against the person or vessel responsible for a Deepwater Horizon incident death. (Current law allows only a civil action in admiralty when death is caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default.) Authorizes any related recovery to include fair compensation for nonpecuniary loss (care, comfort, companionship, and society) plus a fair compensation for the decedent's pain and suffering. (Current law allows only fair compensation for pecuniary loss sustained by the individuals for whose benefit the action is brought.)

(Sec. 4) Amends the Jones Act to authorize any recovery in a civil action at law against the employer of a seaman who dies from the Deepwater Horizon incident to include fair compensation for nonpecuniary loss, plus a fair compensation for the decedent's pain and suffering. (Current law allows only certain wrongful death and survival claims as is available to railway employees.)

(Sec. 5) Applies this Act to: (1) causes of action and claims arising after April 19, 2010; and (2) actions commenced prior to, on, or after enactment of this Act that have not been finally adjudicated, including appellate review, as of such date.