Category Archives: Unseaworthiness

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 »

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 »

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 »

Jones Act seaman suffers rare hat trick, losing on Jones Act negligence, unseaworthiness, and maintenance and cure, all on summary judgment

James Lett was an engineer and Jones Act seaman for Omega Protein, Inc.  He alleged he was injured over the course of a few days in September of 2008 when he used a needle gun in the engine room to remove paint and rust.  Thanks to the too-small tool, the cramped quarters, and Omega’s failure … 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 »

Coleman v. Omega: Summary Judgment on Jones Act Negligence and Unseaworthiness; then Denial of Maintenance and Cure for Willful Misconduct

In Joseph Coleman v. Omega Protein Inc., Joseph Coleman, a Jones Act seaman, filed suit against Omega Protein Inc. for unseaworthiness, negligence, and maintenance and cure following an accident onboard the F/V MISSISSIPPI SOUND.  Duncan & Sevin represented Omega Protein Inc. Mr. Coleman alleged he injured in an accident between 2:00 am and 3:00 am … Read More »