Category Archives: Maritime Torts

Contractual language sticks: ‘bareboat charter’ language in contract precludes recovery from BP, despite allegations BP actually controlled details of the work

A recent decision by the U.S. Fifth Circuit highlights how clear language in a charter party can help preclude a charterer’s liability. In Barron v. BP America Production Co., 2014 WL 4851804 (5th Cir. Oct. 1, 2014), the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a dismissal of the plaintiff’s Jones Act, unseaworthiness, and general … Read More »

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 »

Second Circuit addresses division of liability in vessel collision

In Otal Investements, Ltd. v. M/V TRICOLOR, et al, the Second Circuit faced a collision in the English Channel.  On a foggy night in the English Channel nine years ago, the M/V KARIBA approached the M/V CLARY and altered course to avoid her.  Alas, the M/V KARIBA struck the M/V TRICOLOR, which subsequently sank.  The district … Read More »

Eastern District of Louisiana clarifies bareboat charter’s duties

Stewart et al v. Lester J. Plaisance, Inc. et al, E.D.La. February 27, 2011 The Eastern District of Louisiana (Judge Berrigan) held that a charterer could be found negligent for a defective condition onboard a vessel that causes injury despite the charterer not having operational control at the time of the accident.  In Stewart et … Read More »

In Re Eckstein Marine Service – Fifth Circuit clarifies six months means six months for filing a limitation action

In In re. Eckstein Marine Service, the claimant, Lorne Jackson, was injured when he was entangled in a line and pulled into a mooring bit, seriously injuring his leg, on February 28, 2009.  He filed suit on April 28, 2009 in Texas state court, which Eckstein (now known as Marquette) answered on June 10. Evidently catching … Read More »

Fifth Circuit expands “physical damage” requirement for economic loss recovery in maritime tort claims.

In Catalyst Old River Hydroelectric Limited Partnership v. Ingram Barge Co., 639 F.3d 207 (5th Cir. 2011), the Fifth Circuit revisited the long-standing rule which prohibits recovery for pure economic loss in a maritime tort action; physical damage or invasion to a proprietary interest is required.  Louisiana ex. rel. Guste v. M/V TESTBANK, 752 F. … Read More »

Fifth Circuit clarifies Ondimar and Presumptions of Negligence in a Barge Breakaway Case: Combo Maritime, Inc. v. U.S. United Bulk Terminal, LLC et al., No. 09-30592 (5th Cir. 2010)

A number of barges at United Bulk Terminal’s facility broke away, alliding with the M/V ALKMAN, Combo’s vessel, on the Mississippi River. When Combo sued United for the breakaway, United filed a third-party complaint against Carnival, alleging that Carnival’s cruise ship caused the breakaway by navigating too close to the fleeting facility under full speed. … Read More »