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Tag Archives: U.S. Fifth Circuit

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire! Preventing the Application of the Section 20(a) Presumption with Surveillance

Posted in LHWCA

The recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Bis Salamis, Inc. v. Director, OWCP (Joseph Meeks), No. 15-60148 (March 17, 2016), highlights how the defense to a claim under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, 33 USC 901 et.seq. (LHWCA), can have a tortured journey through the liberal… Continue Reading

Is Choice of Law Subject to Waiver? Fifth Circuit Petitioned for En Banc Rehearing

Posted in Offshore Jurisdiction

On March 10, 2016, I reported on the Fifth Circuit’s opinion in Petrobras America, Inc., et al. v. Vicinay Cadenas S.A., No. 14-20589 (03/07/16), where the Fifth Circuit addressed the waivability of OCSLA’s choice of law provision and determined that it could never be waived. The appellee, Vicinay Cadenas, S.A., has now petitioned for a… Continue Reading

Forget the Invites, Use a Contract Instead

Posted in Maritime Contracts

Many of the indemnity provisions Master Service Agreements use in the energy and construction industries contain the term “invitee” in the definition of “Owner Group” and “Contractor Group”. However, the term “invitee” is rarely defined itself. Drafters should strongly consider jettisoning the term “invitee” from the definition of “group”. For most contracts applicable to worksite… Continue Reading

Future Lost Wages Decision of Note by U.S. Fifth Circuit

Posted in Jones Act

The U.S. Fifth Circuit recently reversed and rendered a District Court’s finding of future lost wages so that it was based on statistical work life expectancy rather than Social Security retirement age. In the recent unpublished Fifth Circuit opinion, Mark Barto vs. Shore Construction, LLC; McDermott Inc., No. 14-31326, the Court affirmed a finding of Jones Act negligence against… Continue Reading

Highlights from the Admiralty Law Institute

Posted in Maritime Law

The 25th Biennial Admiralty Law Institute kicked off with great success on March 11, 2015. Informative presentations continued on March 12-13, building on the theme of this year’s conference, “Symposium on Maritime Personal Injury and Death: Jurisdiction to Judgment.” Thursday, March 12th: The second day of the Admiralty Law Institute began with a panel discussion… Continue Reading

Eighteen Percentage Spread between Pre- and Post-Judgment Interest Rates Affirmed

Posted in Maritime Contracts, Maritime Law

The current post-judgment interest rate in federal court is the infinitesimally meager rate of 0.22% (that is 22 hundredths of a percent, not 22 percent) as per statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1961(a). In contrast, the rate of pre-judgment interest is within the discretion of the district court (and therefore rarely disturbed on appeal), and furthermore… Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Clarifies Rules on Seamen Who Provide False Information During Pre-Employment Physicals

Posted in Maritime Law

The U. S. Fifth Circuit recently held that an injured seaman was precluded from recovering maintenance and cure where he intentionally provided false information during a pre-employment physical conducted by a previous employer that was later acquired by his current employer. Although the current employer did not conduct its own pre-employment physical, the Fifth Circuit… Continue Reading

When In Doubt, File the Limitation Complaint (Part III): The Test Is Reasonable Possibility

Posted in Maritime Law

On December 3, 2014, the Fifth Circuit, in In re:  RLB Contracting, Inc., No. 14–40326 (5th Cir. Dec. 3, 2014), concluded that an ongoing exchange of correspondence between counsel for a dredge involved in a maritime casualty and counsel for the wrongful death and personal injury claimants satisfied both prongs of the “reasonable possibility” test… Continue Reading

UPDATE: Punitive Damages for Jones Act Seamen are not “Pining for the Fjords, they’re Dead”!

Posted in Jones Act

On September 25, 2014, the en banc Fifth Circuit, in McBride v. Estis Well Serv., L.L.C., No. 12-30714 (5th Cir. Sept. 25, 2014), concluded in a brief opinion that the Supreme Court’s decision of Miles v. Apex Marine Corp., 498 U.S. 19 (1990), and its limitation on recovery to pecuniary damages, precluded Jones Act seamen… Continue Reading

A Beach Vacation from the Longshore Act

Posted in LHWCA

In an unpublished per curiam decision, Global Management Enterprises, LLC v. Commerce & Industry Insurance Company, No. 13-31249, filed June 23, 2014, Judges Davis, Benavides and Prado determined that a worker who was injured while assisting with Deepwater Horizon oil spill clean-up efforts on an island in the Gulf of Mexico was not covered under… Continue Reading

Land-Based Jones Act Seaman Status, Emotional Damages, and the “Zone of Danger”

Posted in Jones Act

Fifth Circuit Affirms Jury Finding for Land-Based Worker to be Covered by Jones Act but Reverses Award of Emotional Damages in Naquin v. Elevating Boats LLC, No. 12-31258 (5th Cir., 3/10/14) Plaintiff, Larry Naquin, Sr., a vessel repair supervisor employed by Elevating Boats, LLC, was injured on November 17, 2009, when a shipyard crane he… Continue Reading

The Further Adventures of the Fifth Circuit and the LHWCA Jurisdiction Test

Posted in LHWCA

On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in BPU Management, Inc. v DOWCP (Donald Morgan) again addressed jurisdictional coverage under The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). Following on the heels of New Orleans Depot Services, Inc., (NODSI) v. DOWCP, 718 Fed. 3rd 384, 387 (5th… Continue Reading

But I’m Not Dead Yet! Punitive Damages for Unseaworthiness Claims Live On

Posted in Jones Act, Maritime Accidents

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded that Jones Act seamen can recover punitive damages for their employer’s willful and wanton breach of the general maritime duty to provide a seaworthy vessel, in McBride v. Estis Well Serv., L.L.C., No. 12 – 30714 (5th Cir. Oct. 2, 2013). The jurisprudential history behind this result… Continue Reading

Don’t You Forget About Me . . . Include Insurers in List of Indemnified Groups

Posted in Maritime Contracts

How many insureds entering into a master service agreement (“MSA”) go to bat for their insurers when negotiating who will compromise the members of their respective indemnified “Groups?” Given a recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (“Fifth Circuit”), Duval v. Northern Assurance Company of America, __ F.3d __, 2013 WL 3367483 (5th Cir…. Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Narrows “Adjoining Area” Definition in LHWCA Jurisdiction Test

Posted in LHWCA

On April 29, 2013, the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion for the en banc Court in New Orleans Depot Services, Inc. v. Director OWCP, 718 F.3d 384 (5th Cir. 2013) that effectively reformulated the 1972 situs jurisdictional requirement under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), 33 U.S.C. sec. 901 et.seq. The Court now… Continue Reading

Termination for Misconduct Does Not Reopen LHWCA Claim, Fifth Circuit Follows Fourth Circuit in Deciding

Posted in LHWCA

The Fifth Circuit has followed the Fourth Circuit’s lead in deciding today that an employee’s termination for misconduct will not reopen a disability claim under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”). The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in an unpublished opinion issued on March 19, 2013, addressed the employer’s… Continue Reading

Jones Act Status Remains Unavailable on SPARS

Posted in Jones Act, Offshore Oil

Jones Act status remains unavailable on SPAR Platforms, a type of deepwater floating oil drilling and production facility used in the offshore petroleum industry. While, as noted in the recent blog by Joseph Devall, Jr., the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) contemplates a further “clarification” of the term “vessel,” the Fifth Circuit has reiterated that, even in light… Continue Reading

The Fifth Circuit Restates Three Duties Vessel Owners Owe Longshore Employees

Posted in LHWCA, Ports & Cargo Shipping

Under Section 905(b) of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”), a vessel owner owes three duties to longshore employees. In October 2012, the Fifth Circuit granted a summary judgment dismissing serious personal injury claims a cargo supervisor filed under LHWCA because the defendants had not breached any of these three duties. In doing… Continue Reading

If in Doubt, File the Complaint for Limitation of Liability

Posted in Jones Act, Marine Services, Maritime Contracts, Ports & Cargo Shipping

One of the recurring issues in handling maritime wrongful death and personal injury claims is determining what information is sufficient to start the vessel owner’s six-month deadline to file a complaint seeking exoneration or limitation of liability under the Shipowners’ Limitation of Liability Act, 46 U.S.C. § 30501 et seq. from that claim.  It is… Continue Reading