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The Jones Act and Indemnity Under an MSA and LOIA

Julius P. Hebert Jr. and Brian J. Marceaux - Friday, August 07, 2015

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.