View Recent Blog Posts in Admiralty and Maritime

  • Company Man Presence on Platform does not Equate to Operational Control By Michael O’Brien In Voces v. Energy Resource Technology, GOM, LLC, et al. the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reviewed the longstanding general rule in Louisiana known as the independent contractor defense, which provides that a principal is not liable for the negligent acts of an independent contractor acting pursuant to... Continue Reading... ....
  • International Trade Update: Unreasonable Deviation Precludes COGSA Limitation By Stephen C. Hanemann The Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (“COGSA”) provides that it shall “apply to all contracts for carriage of goods by sea to or from ports of the United States in foreign trade.” In matters involving international trade, contracts for carriage – involving goods shipped to or from the United States... Continue Reading... ....
  • Out with Davis & Sons and in with Doiron: The 5th Circuit Simplifies Maritime Contract Test By Tod J. Everage For nearly 30 years, district courts within the US 5th Circuit have evaluated whether maritime or state law applies to oil and gas service contracts using the 6-factor test from Davis & Sons, Inc. v. Gulf Oil Corp., 919 F.2d 313 (5th Cir. 1990). The Davis factors focused mainly on the... Continue Reading... ....
  • President Trump Grants Ten Day Waiver of the Jones Act for Puerto Rico By Daniel Stanton On September 28, 2017, President Trump granted a ten day waiver of the Jones Act for the island of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, in an effort to facilitate the island’s recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  The waiver went into effect immediately and alleviates the Jones Act’s restriction against the transport... Continue Reading... ....
  • Contractors are not Subject to Criminal Charges for Violations of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act By Michael J. O’Brien Yesterday, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision in USA v. Don Moss, et al., 2017 WL 4273427 (5th Cir. 2017) affirming the Eastern District’s ruling that oilfield contractors cannot be held liable for criminal violations of the Outer Continental Shelf’s Lands Act (OCSLA), 43 U.S.C.§ 1331, et... Continue Reading... ....
  • 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... ....