View Recent Blog Posts in Admiralty and Maritime

  • U.S. 5th Circuit Decides that “Responsible Party” Under OPA 90 can Seek Contribution from a Jointly-Liable Third Party By McClain R. Schonekas The M/V HANNAH C. SETTOON, owned and operated by Settoon Towing, L.L.C. (“Settoon”), was towing two crude oil tank barges on the Mississippi River when an attempted passage around the M/V LINDSAY ANN ERICKSON and its tow went badly resulting in a spill of 750 barrels of crude oil. The spill... Continue Reading... ....
  • A How-To Guide for Determining Whether a Contract is Maritime By Daniel B. Stanton In the recent U.S. Fifth Circuit case of In re Larry Doiron, Inc., 849 F.3d 602 (5th Cir. 2017), the Court considered an often pivotal question in many offshore personal injury cases: is the contract governing the relationship of the parties a maritime contract? While this issue is not new to... Continue Reading... ....
  • U.S. 5th Circuit Highlights Chasm Between Seaman Classification Under Jones Act and FLSA By Zoe Vermeulen In the recent case of Halle v. Galliano Marine Service, L.L.C., No. 16-30558, 2017 WL 1399697 (5th Cir. Apr. 19, 2017) the U.S. Fifth Circuit addressed for the first time whether ROV technicians, who are traditionally Jones Act seamen, qualify as seamen under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The Court found... Continue Reading... ....
  • U.S. Supreme Court Limits Forum Shopping by Railroad Employees…and by Extension Jones Act Seamen By Michael J. O’Brien In the recent case of BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a blatant forum shopping attempt by two railway employees and limited future lawsuits against out-of-state railroads. In BNSF Railway Co., Robert Nelson of North Dakota and Kelli Tyrrell of South Dakota filed separate suits against BNSF... Continue Reading... ....
  • Louisiana Native Scott Angelle to Head the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) By Michael J. O’Brien Scott Angelle, a native of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, has been appointed by the Trump Administration to head the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”).  Mr. Angelle first held public office in the late 1980’s. He has since served as a Parish President, Secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Natural Resources, and,... Continue Reading... ....
  • Offshore Service Companies Try Bankruptcy, Lobbying to Improve Their Finances By J. Eric Lockridge Large and small offshore service companies are turning to the Bankruptcy Code for help with restructuring their balance sheet, and turning to Washington for help with generating more work. One of the largest offshore service companies in the world, Tidewater, announced this week that it will file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy... Continue Reading... ....
  • Title VII Prohibits Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation, Says the Seventh Circuit By Erin Kilgore and Scott Huffstetler On April 4, 2017, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that sexual orientation discrimination is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As previously noted, there has been much debate among the courts regarding the meaning of the term “sex” under Title VII and... Continue Reading... ....
  • BOEM Announces Proposal to Sell 73 Million Acres of Gulf of Mexico Leases By Tod J. Everage With less than one week on the job, newly-confirmed Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke announced that BOEM will offer 73,000,000 acres of lease space located in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration. Proposed Lease Sale 249 is currently scheduled for August 16, 2017, and will include all... Continue Reading... ....
  • United States Coast Guard Updates CG-2692 Marine Casualty Reporting Form for 2017 By Michael J. O’Brien U.S. Coast Guard Form 2692 has been used for over forty (40) years to report marine casualties, commercial diving casualties, or outer continental shelf related causalities. Recently, the Form received a long overdue update. The new version of the form, effective as of 2017, is available here as well as the Coast... Continue Reading... ....
  • BSEE Notice to Lessees: Revised OCSLA Civil Penalty Assessment Matrix By Tod J. Everage On February 3, 2017, BSEE issued its first Notice to Lessees (NTL) of 2017, advising of the revised OCSLA Civil Penalty Assessment Matrix. For the second time in 6 months, BSEE has increased the maximum civil penalty to $42,704 per day per violation, up from $42,017 per day per violation that... Continue Reading... ....