Plaintiff, an employer of Max Welders, was working as the borrowed employee of Wild Well, a subsidiary of Superior, when he sustained injuries while welding on an offshore platform. Plaintiff filed suit against all defendants under, inter alia, the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. 30104. Superior and Wild Well filed a cross-claim for indemnity from Max Welders pursuant to a Master Service Agreement (MSA) or, in the alternative, Vessel Boarding, Utilization, and Hold Harmless Agreement (VBA) between Superior and Max Welders. The court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants on the Jones Act claims because it found that plaintiff was not a Jones Act seaman. The court also affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Max Welders on indemnity because 1) the MSA was void under Louisiana law and 2) the VBA did not apply to plaintiff’s work.
Check this video out for a brief legal history of the Terrebonne Parish Courthouse. youtu.be/-jt7P4-xBm4
The issue this matter presented for the Louisiana Supreme Court's review centered on the “amount in dispute” which determined subject matter jurisdiction of a city court with a jurisdictional limit of $30,000. After filing suit, plaintiff settled with the tortfeasor and the tortfeasor’s liability insurer for $25,000, plaintiff’s claim against her uninsured motorist insurer was the only claim left. The issue to be determined was whether following the dismissal of the settling defendants, the city court had jurisdiction over plaintiff’s claim against her uninsured motorist insurer to the full extent of that court’s $30,000 jurisdictional limit. Put another way, the issue in this case was whether the settlement amount counted toward the city court’s jurisdictional limit. The Court held that it did not: because the $25,000 settlement amount no longer constituted part of the “amount in dispute,” the city court’s jurisdiction over the uninsured motorist claim was to the full extent of its $30,000 jurisdictional limit. Therefore, the appellate court’s decision was reversed, and the case was remanded to the court of appeal for further consideration.
NO. 2013-C-2878 CONSOLIDATED WITH NO. 2013-C-2981 - Arrant v. Graphic Packaging International, Inc.
This case presented a res nova issue for the Louisiana Supreme Court: whether gradual noise induced hearing loss caused by occupational exposure to hazardous noise levels was a personal injury by accident or an occupational disease, or both, under the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Act ("LWCA"), thereby entitling the defendant employer to immunity from suits in tort under the exclusivity provisions of the LWCA. Interpreting the Act and mindful of the clear legislative purpose behind the workers' compensation scheme, the Louisiana Court found occupational noise-induced hearing loss fell squarely within the parameters of the LWCA, either the pre-1990 definition of “accident” or the post-1975 definition of “occupational disease.” As such, the Court concluded the defendants were entitled to immunity from suits in tort under the LWCA. Accordingly, the court of appeal properly reversed the judgment of the district court and dismissed the plaintiffs' claims.
Personal Injury/Automobile/Motor Vehicle/Maritime Vessel/Drilling Rig/Boats/Motorcycle/18 Wheeler – Wrecker and/or Accidents/Rights/Workers Compensation
In a personal injury case, if you are injured, generally, three things must be proven in all cases:
- Liability (fault, negligence, unseaworthiness);
- If you can prove liability then you must prove that your injuries are caused and/or aggravated by that liability;
- The damages amounts that you are entitled to; and
- A fourth issue may be whether you are comparatively at fault. This is an issue that would be raised by the defendants where they claim you bear some or all of the fault for causing the accident.
Damages include, but are not limited to, property damage, loss of use/value of vehicle (auto), medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, disability, etc. You might also be entitled to mental anguish and emotional distress damages if you view an event causing an injury to another person or you come upon the scene of an event soon thereafter.
Seamen are entitled to maintenance and cure as an additional remedy. Land based employees are limited to workers’ compensations against employers except in limited situations. Workers’ Compensation is a non-fault scheme. An employee can have both a workers’ compensation claim and third party negligence claim, i.e., in an auto/truck wreck while you are in the course and scope of your employment.
If you are injured, call Hebert & Marceaux for an appointment at (985) 876-4324.
This is for information only and not legal advice. An attorney should be consulted on a particular case or situation.
- The Jones Act and Indemnity Under an MSA and LOIA
- The Terrebonne Parish Courthouse History
- Swayze v. State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co. 2014-C-1899 - City Court Jurisdiction
- Liability for Hearing Loss as a Result of Noise - Louisiana Supreme Court Addresses the Issue
- Immunity and/or Limitation of Liability/Rights
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- Divorces/Family Law/Separation/Child Support/Child Custody/Community Property/Domestic Abuse/Rights
- Personal Injury/Automobile/Motor Vehicle/Maritime Vessel/Drilling Rig/Boats/Motorcycle/18 Wheeler – Wrecker and/or Accidents/Rights/Workers Compensation
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