Monthly Archives: September 2014

What does it mean to be “in the service of the vessel”? – Dize v. Association of Maryland Pilots – UPDATED

A Jones Act seaman is someone who spends 30% or more of his or her time in the service of the vessel.  The Supreme Court has been asked to answer what “in the service of the vessel” actually means – is it time contributing to the navigation and operation of the vessel, or does it … Read More »

McBride v. Estis arrives: punitive damages not available for Jones Act unseaworthiness

The Fifth Circuit released its opinion in McBride v Estis today, the long-awaited decision regarding punitive damages.  It tips the scales at 73 pages.  The Court, in a close decision, reverses the panel opinion and concludes punitive damages are not available for a Jones Act seaman, whether it is a claim for wrongful death or for personal … Read More »

The Deepwater Horizon Opinion is here: careful, thoughtful and detailed

This week, Judge Barbier released his opinion in the Deepwater Horizon litigation.  His 150+ page opinion defies easy description, but in very brief: Judge Barbier concludes the reason for the blowout was not the cement, it was the drilling process chosen principally by BP.  The most egregious fault on BP was in failure to perform … Read More »