A Summer Intern Who Was Injured While Assigned To Work On A Vessel During His Internship But Whose Other Work That Summer Was Primarily Land Based Is Determined Not To Be A Jones Act Seaman
SETH A. BECKER, Plaintiff-Intervenor Defendant-Appellee, v.TIDEWATER, INC., ET AL., Defendants, TIDEWATER INCORPORATED, TWENTY GRANDOFFSHORE INCORPORATED, TIDEWATER MARINE, L.L.C., Defendants-Third PartyPlaintiffs-Intervenor Defendants-Appellees-Appellants, R & B FALCON DRILLINGUSA, INC., PENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY, LTD., CERTAIN UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYD’SINSURANCE CO., Defendants-Appellants, HYDRA RIG, a division of Tuboscope VetcoInternational, L.P., Defendant-Third Party Defendant-Third PartyPlaintiff-Appellee, HYDRADYNE HYDRAULICS, INC., Defendant-Third PartyDefendant-Appellee, v. COFLEXIP STENA OFFSHORE, INC., Defendant-Third PartyDefendant Appellee, v. BAKER HUGHES, INC., BAKER HUGHES OILFIELD OPERATIONS,INC., Defendants-Intervenor Defendants-Appellants, and BAKER OIL TOOLS, INC., adivision of Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations, Inc., Defendant-Third PartyDefendant-Intervenor Plaintiff-Third Party Plaintiff-Appellant, BAKER OIL TOOLS,a division of Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations, Inc., Third PartyDefendant-Appellant.
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
335 F.3d 376; 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 12343
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. 99-CV-1198. Richard T Haik, Sr, US District Judge.
Affirmed in part, reversed in part, vacated in part and remanded.
Defendants, employer, vessel owner, and its underwriters, appealed the judgment of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana which awarded plaintiff intern damages in excess of $43 million under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C.S. app. § 688, for injuries he sustained in an accident aboard the vessel.
The intern was assigned to land-based work while working for his employer during his summer vacations. During his third summer, the intern had an opportunity to observe a gravel-packing operation on an offshore fixed platform, and was then assigned by the employer to a vessel to replace a worker who was in need of time off. The intern was involved in an accident on that vessel from which he almost died and necessitated the amputation of legs below the knee. The district court submitted to the jury the question of whether the intern was a seaman under the Jones Act; the jury answered the question in the affirmative and awarded him damages. On appeal, the court determined that the intern was not a seaman under the Jones Act because his connection to the vessel was not substantial in duration and nature, and because his status with his employer did not fundamentally change when he was assigned to the vessel. The intern was a land-based worker who was assigned to a mission on the vessel at sea, and the assignment was one of many activities to take place during his internship that summer. His receiving safety training was insufficient to establish seaman status.
The judgment for the intern was reversed, the findings of liability and damages against defendants were vacated, and the case was remanded to the district court so that the case could proceed as a Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act case.
Non-Dependent Survivor Of Nonseaman Killed In State Territorial Waters Cannot Collect Nonpecuniary Damages Under The General Maritime Law
CHARLES DESMOND TUCKER, Plaintiff-Appellant, versus FRANK EDWARD FEARN, JUDY FEARN, Defendants-Appellees.
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
333 F.3d 1216; 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 11536; 16 Fla. L. WeeklyFed. C 707
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. D. C. Docket No. 00-00942 CV-CG-L. Judge: Callie V.S. Granade.
Appellant father sought to recover from appellees, boat operators, nonpecuniary damages, in the form of loss of society damages under general maritime law, for the death of his minor son, who was killed in a boating collision in territorial waters. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama struck the father’s claim for nonpecuniary damages. The appellate court granted the father’s petition for interlocutory review.
In the interlocutory appeal, the only issue was whether the father, as a nondependent parent, could recover loss of society damages for the wrongful death of his minor child under general maritime law. The court found that in light of the limitation on recoverable damages in wrongful death suits to pecuniary loss sustained by the persons for whose benefit the suit was brought under the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), 46 U.S.C.S. app. § 761 et seq., it would have been inconsistent with Congress’s considered judgment for the court to permit the recovery that the father sought under general maritime law. Moreover, it would have been discordant for the court to sanction additional remedies for deaths of nonseamen occurring in a state’s territorial waters than: (1) Congress permitted under DOHSA for deaths of nonseamen occurring on the high seas; (2) Congress permitted for seamen under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C.S. app. § 688; and (3) the United States Supreme Court allowed for seamen under general maritime law. Thus, nondependent survivors of nonseamen equally could not recover loss of society damages in a wrongful death action under general maritime law.
The district court’s order was affirmed.
Employee Who Was Injured When He Fell From A Ladder In A Drydock Facility Held Not To Be A Seaman And, As Such, Employer Could Remove Case From State Court To Federal Court Because Case Could Not Proceed Under The Jones Act
TROY HOGANS v. ELMWOOD MARINE SERVICES, INC.
CIVIL ACTION NO. 03-0845 SECTION “T”(5)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11432
June 19, 2003, Decided
June 20, 2003, Filed, Entered
Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand denied. Request for Attorney’s fees denied.
Plaintiff employee filed a negligence action in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans (Louisiana), seeking damages from defendant employer. The employer removed the action to federal district court, claiming diversity of citizenship jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.S. § 1332, and the employee filed a motion, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.S. § 1447(c), seeking an order remanding the case to state court.
An employee was injured when he fell from a ladder while working at a dry dock facility, and he filed an action in state court against his employer, alleging negligence. The employer removed the action to federal district court, claiming that the federal court had diversity of citizenship jurisdiction. The employee agreed that there was diversity of citizenship jurisdiction but argued that the case was not removable because it was filed under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C.S. § 688 (recodified as 46 U.S.C.S. app. § 688). The federal district court held that (1) a dry dock was not a vessel for purposes of establishing seaman status under the Jones Act; and (2) because the employee had no reasonable possibility of establishing a Jones Act claim and removal based on diversity jurisdiction by the employer was proper, the court would deny the employee’s motion to remand the case to state court.
The court denied the employee’s motion to remand the case to state court.