Legal News

Oregon Rule allides with Pennsylvania Rule

In Mike Hooks Dredging v. Marquette Transportation Gulf-Inland, LLC et al., No. 12-30474 (5th Cir. 2013),  a moving vessel (M/V PAT MCDANIEL owned and operated by Eckstein Marine Service, Inc.) struck the Dredge MIKE HOOKS, which was moored against the bank in a narrow channel in violation of INR 9(g). Thus, the Oregon Rule, which … Read More »

Fifth Circuit holds NHWA does not cover defects which do not result in physical damage

In Gines v D.R. Horton, Inc., the Fifth Circuit addressed whether a claim brought under Louisiana’s New Home Warranty Act (“NHWA”) must allege that the defect in question resulted in actual physical damage to the home.  Gines entered into a contract for the purchase of a new home built by Horton.  After Gines took possession … Read More »

Jones Act Does Not Apply to Chinese National; Removal Proper under Federal Sovereign Immunities Act.

In Yu v. Dalian International Maritime Services Co., slip copy, 12-0707, 2012 WL 1932974 (E.D.La. 5/29/2012), plaintiff, a citizen of the People’s Republic of China, brought suit in Louisiana state court seeking damages for injuries sustained on Defendants’ vessel under the Jones Act or, alternatively, under Chinese law.  Defendants removed the case and Judge Berrigan … Read More »

Texas Court rules on LHWCA versus State Workers’ Compensation; Res Judicata

Salinas v. Meaux Surface Protection, Inc., 11-0096 (Tex. App. 1st Dist. 2012) On September 23, 2006, Plaintiff Orlando Salinas was a passenger in his supervisor Octave Samuel’s vehicle.  Both Plaintiff and Samuel were employed by Defendant Meaux Surface Protection, Inc.  The two were involved in a one-vehicle accident as the result of Samuel drinking while … Read More »

Louisiana Magistrate Affirms Punitive Damages Are Not Available to a Jones Act Seaman for Unseaworthiness

McBride v. Estis, 12-557 (W.D.La. 2012). On March 9, 2011, the barge Estis Rig 23 was operating in Bayou Sorrell, a navigable waterway in the State of Louisiana. As the barge crew, all of whom were employed by Estis, was attempting to straighten the twisted monkey board in the derrick, the pipe in the derrick … Read More »

Fifth Circuit allows excess underwriters to recover their defense costs from primary when primary improperly denied defense

In Continental v. North American et al, defendant Encompass had three different primary insurers: Continental, a GL carrier; Columbia, a professional liability carrier, and North American, where Encompass was an additional insured by virtue of an indemnity agreement with its subcontractor.  Encompass was also insured by National Union under an umbrella policy. All three primary … Read More »

Louisiana Appellate Court voids seaman’s release executed before first doctor visit, finding seaman lacked “full understanding and knowledge” of his rights.

In Rudolph v. D.R.D. Towing Company, LLC,  Mr. Rudolph, who worked for D.R.D Towing aboard the M/V RUBY E, allegedly sustained injuries when the M/V MARTIN CHALLENGER collided with his vessel.  — So.3d —, 2012 WL 1415135, No. 11-CA-1074(La.App. 5 Cir. 4/24/12).  Three days after the incident, before receiving medical treatment or legal advice, Mr. … Read More »

Fifth Circuit affirms summary judgment on maintenance and cure: palliative, not curative

In Alario v. Offshore Service Vessels, LLC the Fifth Circuit affirmed Judge Fallon’s grant of summary judgment for the defendant vessel owner.  Michelle Alario filed suit against her Jones Act employer, alleging negligence, unseaworthiness, and entitlement to maintenance and cure when she fell out of her bunk and injured her shoulder.  The district court (Judge Fallon) granted … Read More »

District Court finds Jones Act seaman potentially entitled to punitive damages for unseaworthiness

An Eastern District of Missouri court recently concluded on March 5, 2012 that a Jones Act seaman can be entitled to punitive damages in In re Osage Marine Services, 10-1671 (E.D. Mo. 2012).  The opinion joins the divide following the Supreme Court’s pronouncement in Atlantic Sounding v. Townsend.  Louisiana courts have consistently held there is no … Read More »

Two Recent Louisiana Eastern District General Damage Rulings – Trend or Aberration?

Louisiana’s Eastern District, in Raynes v. McMoran Exploration Company and Smith v. Ledet Towing Company has recently allowed two significant general damage awards in Jones Act cases involving back injuries requiring significant surgical intervention. In Raynes v. McMoran, the plaintiff, a worker on a fixed production platform owned by McMoran,  was injured when his left foot … Read More »