Maintenance and Cure
Maintenance and Cure are both ancient maritime remedies for seamen who are injured while in the service of a ship or vessel and are owed to them under the law. “Maintenance” is a per diem payment intended as a living allowance. The purpose is to provide subsistence and lodging, not as a compensation for injury or damage. This amount should relate to food and lodging expenses of the local that the injured seamen is residing. “Cure” is the payment is medical expenses. Both maintenance and cure are to be paid by the ship owner until such point as the injured seamen reaches “maximum cure.”
“Maintenance and cure” are said to be an ancient duty of the ship owner to provide aid to seamen that become ill or injured while in the service of the ship. This implicit relationship between the seamen and their employer are without regard to negligence and unseaworthiness. The only exception to this duty is the willful misconduct of the seamen. Maintenance and cure has arisen in law and practice to encourage marine commerce, while at the same time protecting seamen form the unique hazards of their work and the unscrupulous actions of ship owners.