An injured worker’s negligence claim was barred by 33 U.S.C.S. § 905(a) because all the elements necessary for a borrowed-employment relationship were satisfied in light of the undisputed evidence; a longshoring company which paid a labor broker to furnish workers was the worker’s borrowing employer for purposes of the LHWCA.
BRUCE LANGFITT, Plaintiff – Appellant, versus FEDERAL MARINE TERMINALS, INC., Defendant – Appellee, BBC CHARTERING USA, LLC, et al., Defendants.
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 15658
July 29, 2011, Decided
Plaintiff worker appealed from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, which granted summary judgment to defendant longshoring company, ruling that the longshoring company was the worker’s employer at the time of his injury and that, consequently, 33 U.S.C.S. § 905(a) of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), 33 U.S.C.S. § 901 et seq., barred the worker’s tort claim.
On appeal, the worker–who was employed by a labor broker that furnished him to the longshoring company as a day-laborer–raised only the issue of whether the district court erred in holding that the longshoring company was his employer and that § 905(a) precluded his negligence claim. The court set forth a three-part borrowed-employment standard pursuant to the LHWCA and applied it to the pertinent facts. The court ruled that the nature of the worker’s relationship with the longshoring company implied his consent to be its employee because he, through his employment with the labor broker, knowingly agreed to going to new work situations on a regular basis. The control element also was conspicuously satisfied, in part because the labor broker expressly ceded authority to control the worker to the longshoring company for the purposes of the longshoring operations. Because all the elements necessary for a borrowed-employment relationship were satisfied, the court agreed with the district court that the longshoring company was the worker’s borrowing employer for purposes of the LHWCA and that, consequently, the worker’s negligence claim was barred by 33 U.S.C.S. § 905(a).
The court affirmed the judgment
Because it was undisputed that a shipbuilding contract did not give rise to a maritime claim under federal law, plaintiff did not have a valid prima facie maritime claim, and thus did not meet the requirements for attachment or garnishment under ADMIRALTY RULE B.
SLS SHIPBUILDING CO. LTD, Plaintiff, v. IONIA MANAGEMENT S.A., et al., Defendants.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS, HOUSTON DIVISION
2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72506
July 5, 2011, Filed
Defendant Shipbuilder Ionia moved to vacate a warrant of arrest pursuant to Supplemental Admiralty Rule B.
Plaintiff SLS Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. (“SLS”) is a corporation with its principal place of business in the British Virgin Islands. Defendant Ionia Management S.A. (“Ionia”) is a corporation with its principal place of business in Greece. SLS and Ionia entered into three shipbuilding contracts, which SLS alleges Ionia breached. On approximately January 17, 2011, a London Maritime Arbitration Association tribunal issued a First Final Award in favor of SLS and against Ionia, holding Ionia liable for the breach of the three contracts. SLS estimates the damages to be $27,350,000. SLS submitted a verified complaint and affidavit pursuant to Rule B of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions, and on June 17, 2011 the Court granted SLS’s Motion for Warrant of Arrest of M/T THEO. On July 1, 2011, Defendants moved to vacate the warrant of arrest. That same day, the Court held a telephonic hearing and granted Defendants’ motion. The Court held that whether a claim is considered maritime for purposes of Rule B is a question of federal law. Court found it was undisputed that a shipbuilding contract does not give rise to a maritime claim under federal law. Thus, Plaintiff does not have a valid prima facie maritime claim, and so does not meet the requirements for attachment or garnishment under Supplemental Admiralty Rule B.
Warrant of arrest of vessel vacated and vessel ordered removed from plaintiff’s custody.
Where an offshore drilling platform owner (PO) asserted multiple bases for jurisdiction, including admiralty, but, the parties filed a joint-stipulation explicitly stating that the PO did not make a Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(h) declaration, civil procedure governed the case and denying a motion to strike the PO’s jury demand was affirmed.
APACHE CORPORATION, Plaintiff – Appellee v. GLOBAL SANTA FE DRILLING COMPANY; GLOBAL SANTA FE HUNGARY SERVICES, LLC; GLOBAL SANTA FE SOUTH
AMERICA, L.L.C.; GLOBAL SANTA FE CORPORATION, Defendants – Appellants
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 14454
July 13, 2011, Filed
Plaintiff offshore drilling platform owner (PO) sued defendant mobile offshore drilling unit owners (UOs) for negligence, salvage, repair, and reconfiguration for damages to the platform resulting from an allision. Both sides requested a jury trial, but the UOs later moved to strike all jury demands, arguing admiralty jurisdiction. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana denied the motion. The UOs appealed.
The PO asserted multiple bases for jurisdiction, including admiralty. When a claim was governed by multiple bases for jurisdiction and it was not clear whether the party made a Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(h) declaration, courts were to examine the totality of the circumstances, as demonstrated by the party’s pleadings and actions, to determine if a Rule 9(h) declaration was made. But, the PO and UOs filed a joint-stipulation explicitly stating that the PO did not make a Rule 9(h) declaration. The UOs had, between the motion to strike, the stipulation, and the appeal, shifted it position on whether admiralty, federal question jurisdiction, or both governed the claims. The UOs effectively argued that, because the PO asserted multiple bases for jurisdiction, the PO made a Rule 9(h) designation pursuant to the totality of the circumstances rule. But, the UOs’ shift in position on jurisdiction did not obviate the fact that the parties stipulated that no Rule 9(h) designation was made. The case was governed by civil procedure, pursuant to which the PO had the right to a jury trial.
The denial of the motion was affirmed