Miles v. Apex Marine Corp., 498 U.S. 19 (1990).

Congress and the States have changed the rule in many instances. The Jones Act, through its incorporation of FELA, provides that a seaman’s right of action for injuries due to negligence survives to the seaman’s personal representative. See 45 U. S. C. § 59; Gillespie, supra, at 157. Most States have survival statutes applicable to tort actions generally, see 1 S. Speiser, Recovery for Wrongful Death 2d § 3.2 (1975 and Supp. 1989), 2 id., §§ 14.1, 14.3, App. A, and admiralty courts have applied these state statutes in many instances to preserve suits for injury at sea. See, e. g., Just v. Chambers, 312 U.S. 383, 391 (1941). See also Kernan v. American Dredging Co., 355 U.S. 426 at 430, n.4; Kossick v. United Fruit Co., 365 U.S. 731, 739 (1961); Gillespie, supra, at 157; Comment, Application of State Survival Statutes in Maritime Causes, 60 Colum. L. Rev. 534, 535, n.11 (1960); Nagy, The General Maritime Law Survival Action: What are the Elements of Recoverable Damages?, 9 U. Haw. L. Rev. 5, 27 (1987). Where these state statutes do not apply, however, or where there is no state survival statute, there is no survival of unseaworthiness claims absent a change in the traditional maritime rule.
Miles v. Apex Marine Corp., 498 U.S. 19, 33-34 (1990).